Even though this is just the second Autoweek America Adventure, we are building a reputation. Like all reputations, they can be good or bad. Depends on your point of view.
Generally, ours is outstanding. This does not come lightly or arbitrarily. That we were able to attract 30 teams the first year, and the same number this year, is testament that the event is entertaining, exciting, filled with car-guy types and—yes—has your basic kick-ass prize.
The premise of the Autoweek America Adventure is simple. Think of a great cross-country time-speed-distance rally coupled with riddles that demand solving and earn teams points, physical challenges that also earn teams points, and a chance to push cars to their limits in controlled environments . . . to earn points. And you get to do this with car-obsessed people just like you for six days, enjoy top-notch accommodations, and bench race over an adult beverage or two.
Then there is that prize. This year, the winner of the Autoweek America Adventure gets a snazzy, slick and quick black-on-black Chrysler 300 SRT whose attitude is all business and whose Monroney hovers north of $50,000. Not a bad prize.
We were talking about that with Graham Rahal who is now a grizzled veteran of these wars. He and his stepfather, Chris Berry, have joined for a second year in a row. It’s partially because he’s a competitor and partially because money raised goes to the Graham Rahal Foundation that benefits children.
So this year we set off from Colorado Springs, but not before a jaunt up to Pikes Peak (where 2/3rds of last year’s winning team The Flying Bandini Brothers got engaged!), and then off to an autocross-slalom at Pikes Peak International Raceway. A local charity benefitted from us being here, as one of the challenges was to gather up enough household supplies to fill a Jeep SRT8; all the goods were then donated to the local Ronald McDonald house. One competitor went so far as to buy two weeks’ worth of room nights to give to some deserving family.
Yesterday was a long one—including 11 hours in a car, time at a drag strip, more time at actor Dennis Weaver’s home, with Telluride as our destination. Incredible country. Incredible time. And the good news is that more awaits today!