HomeCar Culture2024 Great Race Student Team Blog Day Eight

2024 Great Race Student Team Blog Day Eight

 A lot of Rain, a little pain, and some gain in New York


Two student docents from the Maine Classic Car Museum are taking part in the 2024 Great Race as part of the X-Cup Challenge. Click here for part six and seven of their journey.

Max and Cotton here again with our daily blog as we compete in the 2024 Great Race long distance rally. We’re two high school students from Maine and we’re reporting on our experience as rookies in this epic 2,300 mile race.

We are now more than half-way through the Great Race, and it seems like time is flying by. As we left Gettysburg to head north to Binghamton, we had our first real heavy rains on the racecourse. We became more alert as we were driving, and that saved the day for us.  Outside of Binghamton, we were following a semi-trailer truck when suddenly it blew two tires. We swerved and slowed down to make our way around the road debris. It was scary, as we were right behind the semi and saw the rubber flying. Fortunately, there were no accidents or injuries. We were a little shaken as we pushed ahead, now realizing we had to make up for some lost time.  

When the roadway became clear and we had some steady driving, the team debated what would be an ideal rally car based on what we’ve learned on the road. We discussed an early 1960s Ford Falcon or Plymouth Valiant might be an ideal choice—big enough to fit 3 X-Cup team members, but perfect for taking turns at higher speeds. It would also be easier going up and then going down all those hills. But when we got to the parc fermé festival in downtown Binghamton, we saw our dream rally car. There was a 1929 Ford racer that would be just perfect.  

As we had done on previous days, we had great fun waving to rally fans along the way. We honk the Caddy’s horn and people light up as they hear us passing by.  

We find ourselves steadily improving our rally performance, even with some ups and downs.  We received our cumulative scores and the Maine Classic Car Museum student X-Cup team moved up to 107th place out of 134 cars total. Our goal is to try get above 100 and still try to score an elusive ace. We had some tough legs, with time scores of 15-45 seconds, until we finally nailed it with a 3-second leg, our best so far of the day. We also had the strongest overall performance, with 2 minutes and 14 seconds, which helped us get closer to our goal of an under 2 minute day.  We were happy to be able to cheer on Josie and her RPM Foundation team who are now driving in a 1963 Buick Riviera.

Next stop, Providence, as we get close to home, crossing into New England for the first time.  Cotton said that he’s having the best time of his life, meeting other student racers from around the country, learning new skills and keeping up with this endurance challenge. 

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


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