Day 6, Swerving to success in the South
Today was another good day for us; maybe we’ve finally got the hang of this Great Race thing.
Today the Great Race decided to throw us for a loop again, quite literally. After leaving the starting line we proceeded to go in a circle. They had to figure a way to keep us busy, because it is only 100 miles from New Bern to Wilmington, if one was to take the highways.
The first thing we noticed about today was how humid it was. It was evident that we are definitely going south. It was also much warmer than previous days. I have to say that the Fairlane is well ventilated, when driving. The wind wings fairly useless, but with the windows down and the floor vents open it isn’t too bad. Today’s course did involve repeating the same roads a couple of times and seeing racers from all starting positions intertwine and go past each other in different directions was pretty amusing . It seemed as though we were set to intentionally mess each other up, almost as if someone was off course this carefully orchestrated dance could be jammed up. I don’t know about the other racers, but we didn’t have any traffic jams or proximity issues, luckily we were able to get past the tractors today.
Lunch today was in Clinton, North Carolina. The first thing we observed, aside from all of the resident’s cars, was a giant shopping cart in front of us. I literally mean a giant shopping cart. In the under section of the cart, there appeared to be a complete chassis. It was agreed that it would be fun to drive if possible. It was probably the best lunch stop we have had so far. Barbeque Pork & Chicken, some good Mac & Cheese, Blueberry Cobbler, and some Sweet Tea! After enjoying our wonderful lunch we headed back onto the course. I think Eliza actually sat a litle lower when we all got in.
We also saw the media crew a few times today, where they were able to get some good pictures of us. They were positioned at the corners, which you need to traverse one of two ways. The first way is going slowly and calculating how much time you need to make up. The other is to take the corner at what speed they tell you. We prefer the latter, not only do you have to calculate less, but it is a lot more fun to be in , especially with the large amount of body roll in our land yacht. Anyway, we tend to have a lot of these corners taken at anywhere from 15 to 40 mph. I am glad that we don’t have a hardtop. Whoever is sitting in the back seat tends to grab the post and hold on tight, because there is not much else to grab a hold of. The media crew got a shot of this in action, because we have all wanted to see this from an outside perspective.
Eventually we were off the clock for the day and made our way to the finish line. As soon as we entered the city of Wilmington the rain started to come down. The rain was fairly heavy but we were glad to see Motormouth standing in the rain still announcing us as we came in. We parked the car and then happened to meet a McPherson Alumni from the class of 85, Mr. Kevin Long, by pure chance. Mr. Long attended McPherson College for the automotive program, back when it was still a two year program. It was interesting that we just happened to meet a McPherson graduate in Wilmington; the best part is that he was on vacation and just happened to be here. He and his wife live in Wisconsin. After discussing how the program has changed, the race thus far, and the car, we parted company.
The results for today were very good. No we did not get any aces, but we had a grand total for the day of 36 seconds. As a team we were thoroughly impressed, because this was stretched across eight sections. We have been bumped up to 41st place and are still holding first place in the X-Cup. Ponca City is in 44th place and a total of 21 seconds behind us. It looks like we’ve gotten the idea down so far. We can only hope that we can hold steady.