Great Race Diary - June 20, 2002

June 21, 2002

by Alan Hunt

A Baylor University-sponsored 1947 Ford convertible is among 100 rare antique vehicles competing in The 2002 Great Race, which started June 15 in San Antonio and ends Saturday, June 22, in Anaheim, Calif.

The Great Race is a timed endurance rally-race; a contest about precision driving and navigation, not speed. Aided only by a speedometer, analog clock, pencil and paper (no maps, cell phones or odometers), the competitors must follow written course instructions at exact, predetermined speeds. The winners finish within seconds of the predetermined "perfect time." Drivers and navigators will be competing for a share of the prize purse valued at $250,000.

Michael Black, coordinator of chapter development at the Baylor Alumni Association, is accompanying the Baylor car during the 2,500-mile rally-race and will send regular progress reports to the Baylor Public Relations web site.

Michael Black's Update:

Thursday - June 20 - Stage 6 - Prescott, Ariz; Payson, Ariz; Scottsdale, Ariz. (195 miles)

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Today was the best day yet for the Baylor Racing Team, even though the score did not reflect it. During each leg of the stage, the racers are timed. Yesterday's times were 1 second off, 0 seconds off (called an ace), 41 seconds off, and 3 seconds off. Had it not been for a lousy 3rd leg, then the Baylor team would be in first place.

The third leg involved driving up a mountain at 50 mph. The 1947 Ford convertible had difficulty reaching this speed at 110 degrees with the engine overheating. Doyle and Scott tried to make up for their lost time, but they were simply too far behind.

The exciting part of the day was that the Baylor Team recorded their first "ace." Many teams in the race will not experience an achievement such as this.

Tomorrow's stage will take us through Gila Bend, Ariz.; Holtville, Calif.; and Chula Vista, Calif. The temperatures today are supposed to be even higher than yesterday. To combat this, the Baylor Team took off the hood of the car last night. They did this in order to release some of the heat that the hood would hold in. Hopefully it will work. The total distance of the stage tomorrow is 380 miles.

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