HomeCar Culture2024 Great Race Student Team Blog Day Nine

2024 Great Race Student Team Blog Day Nine

The smallest state and our lowest scores


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 eight 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.

Ruby, our 1961 Cadillac, was thirsty for the first time this race, so we put ¾ a quart of oil in to top her back off. We’ve been so lucky that the car has been driving so well, and not needed one drop of oil. Max adjusted our speedometer, using a small precision screwdriver. Turns out these adjustments made a big difference in calibrating our timing.

We left Binghamton, New York, yesterday to head towards New England. It was another day of narrow country roads and lots of hills. We passed through the famous Woodstock, where our grandparent’s generation went to the famous music festival. Seeing it in person, it’s easy to understand why there were huge traffic jams as you can barely fit two cars, much less parking, along all the roads in this beautiful area.  

On the road in Ruby

Today’s route involved long transit times, which are off the clock, to the next clocked checkpoint departure point. We had time to talk cars, and we had a spirited debate about recommendations for Cotton’s next car. Since Tim, Bram, and Max all drive older Cadillacs, we did give Cotton our biased opinions. But after much discussion about the pros and cons of different classic cars for a young driver, the group settled on a Volvo 760 turbo wagon.

The Volvo 760 Turbo Wagon was both Cotton and Max’s pick for a perfect Great Race competetion car for next year

Overall, we had our best day yet! In fact, our mentors, Susan Nourse and Peter Brown who are veteran Great Racers, told us that we beat them in overall time.  It seems like we finally found our rhythm, four of our legs were under 10 seconds, include a 3-second and 4-second leg to start the day. In Connecticut, not surprisingly, we got stuck in a massive traffic jam.  We had a 26 minute delay, but after turning in a time adjustment, we finished the leg at just 7 seconds.

Cotton holds up our results for Stage 6 of the race, our best day yet.  It got even better when leg 5 was adjusted to a 7 second finish after approving our time delay request.

We made it to Rhode Island, the smallest state, with our lowest times of the race so far. We moved up several spots in the cumulative rankings, and we ended in 101st place and in the top half of the Student X Cup racing teams.   

One of the smallest cars competing in the 2024 Great Race

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. 

But the best part of our best day was seeing our parents’ surprise us at the finish line in Providence. Max’s mom and aunt made some great “Caddy’s” signs, and Cotton’s mom and dad brought the family dog. We even got some clean laundry, a first in the trip so far. On Friday, the Great Race course will cross into our home state of Maine, and host of the finish line on Sunday. As a result, the Race Masters wanted some of the home state teams to be at the beginning of the starting order. All week, we’ve been able to take advantage of being one of the last cars to leave, which gives us extra time to prep the car and do our performance calculations. But not tomorrow—we’re the second car to leave, which means we have to be up extra early. 

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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