Catching Up and Starting Out!
Well, we made it to Traverse City, Michigan! We got to our hotel pretty late in the evening, but we did manage to see a couple of our rally friends. Knowing that the next day was going to be really busy, we unloaded the truck that Greg and Vernon will be rallying in that evening, and hit the hay! Yesterday was registration day and tech inspection which means everyone has to get things in order. Our good buddy and car building friend, David McAllister, inspected over 90 cars yesterday and did an excellent job! Thankfully for the ralliers, there's a large window of times for people to get things done since there are over 90 cars registered. In between those times that you have to be somewhere, it's a good time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones! I had the honor yesterday of meeting the former Governor of Michigan, William Milliken!
My Shafer 8 has recently gotten some enhancements, not the kind them Hollywood folk get, but the kind that car guys get: the engine! It was great to have Gov. Milliken come out and do some car talk!
One face that everyone was excited to see was our wonderful friend Sister McRae! Her brother Tom McRae was the Great Race founder. Sadly, he died in a motorcycle accident a couple years ago, but the love of the Great Race definitely lives on in his sister. She's always smiling, hugging and laughing with everyone. Theresa picked her up from the airport yesterday and they surprised everyone when they showed up at all the goings-on.
On registration day, everyone checks in, gets their badges and all that fancy stuff. Of course the cars have to be inspected for safety, make sure everything is running correctly, and that they have whitewall tires on their wheels. Wait, that's not a requirement, but wouldn't it be cool if it were? Not that I'm partial or anything. The cars also have to get stickered up with their number, Great Race stickers, sponsor stickers and so on. The whole staff was so organized and smiling the entire time, it was so great to be there... You can just tell this race is going to be a blast!
We finished up things yesterday at the Hagerty Garage and man did they put on a nice reception for everyone. They had great eats such as ribs, chicken, and all those finger-lickin foods. You'd think we were in the South with such good fixins as they did yesterday!
Today we have the Hagerty Trophy Run which is a great way for everyone to get their car warmed up and ready. It's also pretty essential for drivers and navigators to get everything in order for the race when it starts tomorrow morning. While the main things you need when rallying are a reliable car, a stop watch and a clock, it's still good to know anything you've left out before you get going and "On the clock" as the ralliers say. Tools, duct tape, sunscreen, hats, water, there's all kinds of last minute things ralliers don't want to forget.