The Greatest Auto Race – NOT the Daytona 500

Posted By on February 19, 2006

2006 Daytona 500The Daytona 500 ran today, as it does every year at this time to kick off the NASCAR season. Jimmy Johnson won in his Lowes sponsored #48 Chevrolet ten days after his crew chief was kicked out for illegally altering his car. Besides the ‘taint’ on the victory, Johnson drove a competitive race as did all the drivers; this capped off a exciting week for fans. BTW … Bon Jovi kicked off the race today with music enjoyed by participants and fans alike. See short video clip at the end of this post.

Since most of you will find enough press covering the Daytona 500, I thought I would comment on another upcoming race — The Greatest Auto Race of 2008. Preparations are being made to run an anniversary race — the 100 year anniversary of The Greatest Auto Race. The first race started in Times Square on February 12, 1908 and traveled a 22,000 mile trip around the world to Paris France. The national teams from several countries attempted to be first to complete the trip having to plow through snowstorms in the American Heartland and traverse nearly impossible terrain in parts of Asia. The race was eventually completed by 3 of the teams but Thomas Flyer of the US was given the victory after the German team was penalized.

The Greatest Auto Race 1908
The anniversary race will begin February 12, 2008 and will contain several classes while closely patterning the original race. Next year’s event will be a rally style race around the world and offer a $1,000,000 purse. Great Race 2008, as it is called, will start in New York City 100 years to the day after the start of the “Greatest Auto Race,” and travel the 22,000 miles to Paris, France just as the 1908 race did.

There will be 40 teams, 20 vintage pre-1969 vehicles and 20 competing in the latest in automotive technologies such as alternative-fuel vehicles. Each of 20 teams will pick a technology that can meet the challenge of successfully completing a race over 22,000 miles in 80 days. They will all require top-notch rally-racing techniques yet in a vehicle that is fuel efficient and runs on alternative fuels. Most of all they must be able to endure extreme conditions that the 22,000 mile route will present. Fuel type and availability, technological reliability and driver endurance will be critical to finishing the race. This will be a fun race to follow. I’m cheering for a BIODIESEL powered hybrid! (if there is one?)

Bon Jovi performs before the Daytona 500


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