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Great Race Day 02: a Jaguar roars back

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Harald von Langsdorff and Steve McKelvie cross the finish line in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in their 1972 Mercedes 350SLC.

At promptly 7:15 Sunday morning, a 1963 Jaguar E-type, entered by Edward Overmyer & Eric Fayard, slipped from the overnight stop in Tifton, Georgia, to begin day two of the Great Race. It was monumental for the duo, not because they were the first car to hit the clock, but because the team changed differentials overnight after suffering severe problems with their original unit on day one. As the morning progressed, only one car failed to start, the 1928 Ford Model A Delivery entered by Leonard Harpenau and Tom Kucera, due to a cracked engine block.

Day two of the Great Race took teams from Tifton to a lunch stop in Newman, Georgia, where we learned that two teams had experienced trouble early on: the 1916 Studebaker driven and navigated by Howard Street & Dennis Barfield respectively, and Dave Haverty and Steve Pusey’s 1937 Ford Coupe.

After lunch, the rally made the trek to downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Coker Tire Headquarters converted to the day’s finish line. Two other teams ran into an as-yet unknown mechanical issue: the 1966 Ford Thunderbird entered by X-Cup competitors Team Tallahassee (of Florida), and the 1968 Chevy Camaro entered by Marybeth and Tag Lewis.

Taking top honors on day two were former Grand Champions Dave Reeder and Sawyer Stone in their 1932 Ford Victoria, with a time of 2.43 seconds off perfect. Finishing second were Expert division competitors Richard Fredette and Jim Caudle in their 1930 Ford Roadster, with a time of 2.52 seconds. Other division winners were as follows:
Sportsman: Dean Booth and Wally Kandel in their 1957 Chevy 150, with a time of 6.55 seconds (good for seventh on the day)
Rookie: Neil Myerscough and Shanna Chatraw in their 1960 Studebaker Hawk, with a time of 8.05 seconds (good for 32nd on the day)
X-Cup: Team Galax once again in their 1928 Ford Model A Roadster Highboy with a time of 24.96 seconds (good for 44th on the day)

Two-day cumulative scores are as follows, starting with the overall leader:
Expert: Jeff and Eric Fredette in their 1933 Ford Pickup, with a time of 3.26 seconds off perfect
Grand Champion: Reeder and Stone, with a time of 4.86 seconds (good for second overall)
Sportsman: Mike Weaver and Craig Jongerius in their 1931 Ford Model A Coupe with a time of 10.53 seconds (good for 10th overall)
Rookie: Myerscough and Chatraw, with a time of 21.85 seconds (good for 43rd overall)
X-Cup: Team Galax, with a time of 4.46 seconds (good for 58th overall)

Team Hemmings has put together respectable back-to-back days, collecting three aces thus far. Currently we’re 39th overall (17th in class) with a cumulative time of 20.16 seconds off perfect.

Day three of the Great Race starts in Chattanooga and will proceed to a lunch stop in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the first car scheduled to arrive at the Cannonsburgh Village at 12:15 p.m. From there, the rally will proceed to the day’s finish line at the Fountain Park Square in Bowling Green, Kentucky; first car is scheduled to arrive (if on time) at 5:15 p.m.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook where we post behind the scenes tidbits and live videos. And catch up on previous 2017 Great Race coverage here on Hemmings Daily.


This year, we’re adding something special to our Great Race effort: a fundraising goal for Alzheimer’s Association. Donate a penny per mile – just one cent for every mile the Hemmings speedster covers – and it’ll all go to the Alzheimer’s Association’s “The Longest Day” fundraiser. Assuming the Hemmings team completes the entire 2,351-mile event, you’ll donate $23.51 to a great cause.

You can donate here: