Cape Girardeau to host Great Race overnight stop

(Source: The Great Race)

Calling all car enthusiasts!

The world’s finest antique automobiles are set to roll into Cape Girardeau for a special overnight stay.

It’s all a part of the 2020 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty Drivers Club.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 25.

That’s when 120 cars will rev their engines in downtown.

(Source: Visit Cape)

The original date was pushed back from its original date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers are working with mayors and city officials to take unprecedented steps to ensure safety.

The Great Race, known as the world’s premiere old car rally, last stopped in Cape Girardeau in 2013 when drivers picked the city for the Best Overnight City Award.

Organizers are hoping for a repeat in 2020.

“This event is just as much for the community as it is for the Great Race participants. Bring your family to Downtown Cape and visit with the participants and their cars, shop, grab a bite to eat and enjoy this community event!” Alyssa Phares said with Visit Cape.

What is The Great Race:

In all, Great Race participants cover more than 2,300 miles in 9 days. The race starts at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, on June 20 and ends on June 28 in Greenville, S.C., after traveling through 10 states along their 2020 route.

The Great Race is a technical abilities extravaganza. Drivers are not competing for speed, but rather a combination of traveling posted speed limits over long distances with timed arrivals. Cars start – and hopefully, make it to the finish – one minute apart if all goes according to team plans. Teams are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Germany, Canada and every corner of the United States are participating in vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1916. Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II.

In addition to the 2019 defending champions in their 104-year-old Hudson, a 1917 Peerless Racer and a chain-driven 1918 American LaFrance Speedster are the oldest cars scheduled to be in the 2020 Great Race. The winners receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.

How to see The Great Race:

Each stop on the Great Race is free and open to the public.

“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” said race director Jeff Stumb. “Last year we had a couple of overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.”

While the cars are in town, spectators will be able to visit with the participants and look at the cars.

However, you can expect to see social distancing measures put in place.

The Great Race has committed to finding ways to enhance the racer’s experience in the coming months.

“We admire our sponsors Hemmings, Hagerty, Coker Tire and Reliable Carriers for their commitment to getting everyone back in their cars as safe as possible,” Stumb said. “After all, there is no place safer than your own car, and that’s where Great Racers are 90 percent of the time during this great backroad adventure.”

Stick with Heartland Weekend and KFVS12 for updates about The Great Race.

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