Who knew?
After 2 days of confounding the experts (and ourselves) we figured out why we weren’t able to successfully calibrate the speedometer. It was the stopwatch. Once we sorted that out, we were spot on with our calibration! Now, the rest of the rally is on us and how we perform. The car will do what we ask it to do – we just have to give it the right parameters.

The day started bright and early in Tifton, GA and we got the car packed, checked all the fluids, belts, and tires and were heading out of the parking lot to go pick up the day’s instructions. Before we got to the exit we spied a beautiful white Ford Ranchero coming in the driveway. We both stopped and the driver, Steve, asked if he could get a picture of our cars together. He had heard there was another Ranchero in town and he wanted to come see it. He recently completed rebuilding the engine on his 1964 Ranchero and it is a beautiful restoration of a unique vehicle. It was so nice of him to seek us out and it was great to trade stories!

Then it was on to Stage 2 (Day 2) of the Great Race! We sorted out our speedometer problem with an assist from Alan and Helen who paced us through the calibration run to confirm we finally were on the money. We still weren’t sure it was perfect, but it was so close compared to the previous days we decided to run with it. 

The day started as pretty overcast and humid in Tifton with what looked to be a good chance of rain before reaching the final destination in Chattanooga, TN. The farther north we went,the less humid it got! And though we did encounter a few sprinkles, there was no rain to speak of. In fact, the day turned out to be just gorgeous! It was a great day driving through some of the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and finally into some of the mountains on the way to our lunch stop in Newnan, GA and then on to the overnight in Chattanooga. The Coker Tire team did an awesome job setting us up for the night! The food was excellent, the entertainment was great, and the museum was a marvel to see.

Today’s stage was completed in 5 legs. We had a pretty good day, but nowhere near as good as we can do. We did a great 1st leg, but we think we need to make some adjustments to how we make our starts and stops to reduce the amount of time lost. We had one unforced error in handling a slow vehicle in front of us, but turned it into a learning opportunity – which paid off in a later stage! We were able to recover the time lost when a slow truck with a trailer pulled out in front of us.

While our scores were disappointing overall (and we did have a couple of good legs, but still late to the checkpoints by a few seconds each leg) we were pleased with how our performance throughout the day was crisp and well coordinated (except for the one problem.) Tomorrow we fine tune. We’ll confirm the speedo, and if that checks out OK we’ll move to refine our start/stop procedure.

One step at a time!

BTW, Remember these?