Post and Courier
August 21, 2014

Auto Briefs

Posted: 10/12/2013 12:01 a.m.
Updated: 10/12/2013 02:00 a.m.


•Great news: overnight snooze•

The Great Race of classic cars takes place every year to promote vintage models and car collecting nationwide, choosing a different route each season. Next year, the event plans to head along the East Coast from Maine to Florida – and one of the vaunted overnight stops will be in Charleston.

Hemmings Daily, a sister publication to rally sponsor Hemmings Motor News, reports that the 2014 north-to-south drive will pass through 13 states on the way from Ogunquit, Maine, on June 21 to the finish in The Villages, Fla., on June 29.

The popular city stops were disclosed not long after this year’s race down the Mississippi won by Barry and Irene Jason of Keller, Texas.

According to Hemmings, the Great Race will stop for the night in Lowell, Mass.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Wayne, Pa.; Norfolk, Va.; New Bern, N.C.; Wilmington, N.C.; Charleston and Jacksonville, Fla.

There also will be lunch stops along the way in Bennington, Vt. – Hemmings’ home town; Long Pond, Pa.; Millsboro, Del.; Elizabeth City, N.C.; Jacksonville, N.C.; Myrtle Beach; Savannah, Ga., and Ocala, Fla.

According to Hemmings, the 2014 Great Race continues a string of themed races re-started four years ago.This is the first time the race will travel through Maine and the first stop in Florida since Jacksonville was the starting point in 2004.

The East Coast theme seemed like an easy selection, Jeff Stumb, the Great Race director, told Hemmings.

This isn’t Charleston’s first experience with the classic car rally. The Holy City was the starting place for the Great Race in 1992, which ended in Costa Mesa, Calif.

For more information, visit www.GreatRace.com.


•Davis’s maxi win in Mini•

This race car driver hails from Summerville, graduated from Clemson and lives in Texas.

He’s Robbie Davis, and he now can claim a national racing championship in his class.

The Pirelli World Challenge professional race series crowned their class champions after the final season races Oct. 5-6 at the Houston Grand Prix race weekend.

Davis, driving the MINI of Charleston Racing Team 2012 Mini Cooper, won the 2013 Class TCB-Spec Championship, notes his father, Hendrick Imports Charleston executive Brad Davis.

According to Brad Davis, who regularly chronicles the Mini of Charleston racing season, the TCB Class finales involved back-to-back 25 minute races as part of the Houston Indy Car race weekend. They raced on a 1.6 mile street course around the Reliant Center and Reliant Astrodome in Houston.

Davis, who just moved to Houston, trailed Ernie Francis Jr. of Davie, Fla. by one point going into the last week of the season.

In the first race, Francis started on the pole with Davis next to him. Here’s how Brad Davis describes the start: “At the green flag, (driver) Joel Lipperini got a good jump on the two front row cars and made it three wide going into the tight turn one chicane. Davis’ Mini was forced outside onto a part of the track that was still covered with concrete dust from the attempted track repair the night before. The rear of the Mini slid out and began a spin back across the track. Francis Jr. cut his Mazda 2 hard to the left to avoid Davis and hit the wall along with the Mini.”

The upshot? Francis’ car was too badly damaged and he couldn’t finish the race. Davis, meanwhile, limped along to cross in 8th place in a race won by Tyler Palmer of Oceanside, Calif., in his 2010 Mini Cooper.

In the second competition, Ernie Francis Jr. switched to his father’s Mazda 2 but would finish eighth. Davis moved up to seventh while Lipperini placed high enough in the race to take second overall in the standings. Francis finished third overall.

The final championship results after the 14-race series had Davis winning by 30 points, 1,382 to 1,352.

“At the awards presentation Sunday evening, Robbie Davis thanked his father for being his mentor for his racing career and noted that it was almost exactly 10 years since his first drive in a race car with his Dad next to him screaming instructions,” Brad Davis said.

Robbie Davis also thanked Stuart Kestenbaum of Charleston and Chris McAlister of Charlotte who served as Rob’s volunteer crew all season.

Davis and the Mini of Charleston team totaled three wins and eight top 3 finishes in the year.


•BMW combines football, motoring•

If football and car deals are to your liking, then try the BMW Fall Football Combine today.

According to Rick Hendrick BMW Charleston, participants can try out a new BMW.

Incentives include up to $2,000 credits on select 2014 models.

“Hurry in now, the game clock is running out,” the dealership said in its promotion. “We’re conducting the BMW Fall Football Combine. See if you and our BMW have what it takes to make the team.”

The “combine” will be held noon to 4 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center Parking Lot E, said Sheila R. Sines Thomasson, director of marketing and eCommerce at Rick Hendrick Imports.

Similar to the football combines, where prospective players show their speed and conditioning skills, the road event in select BMW models includes an endurance challenge, three cone slalom, 60 yard dash and shuttle run.

For more information or to register, visit www.rickhendrickbmw.com/bmw-fall-football-combine.htm.