Endurance Challenge

(July 8, 1997) -- Most endurance racers consider 12 hours a tough test, and 24 even more grueling. But a group of drivers preparing to lap the country is looking at 126 hours of non-stop driving covering more than 7,300 miles and touching on all...

(July 8, 1997) -- Most endurance racers consider 12 hours a tough test, and 24 even more grueling. But a group of drivers preparing to lap the country is looking at 126 hours of non-stop driving covering more than 7,300 miles and touching on all 48 contiguous United States.

And members of the TransAmerica Challenge are eyeing a spot in the annals of cross-country drives when they’re done.

From Kittery, Maine to New Buffalo, Michigan, the six drivers in a pair of new Lincoln Navigators will push themselves and their vehicles to make time and surpass the current record of five days, seven hours, 15 minutes for such a lap of the country.

The leader of the pack is Billy Edwards, host of Focus on Racing Radio, heard exclusively on the Internet through iRACE. Edwards, who has produced specials on TNN and music for ESPN and TNN specials, is an accomplished long-distance racer. Other drivers include Car and Driver magazine senior editor Phil Berg, longtime autocross driver Mark Hopkins, whose day job is as a firefighter/paramedic, freelance journalist Sue Mead, videographer and longtime Edwards accomplice Ted Bacho and syndicated auto columnist Linda Sharp.

Even though the crew has plenty of racing experience, the marathon will be run without violating any traffic laws. And no matter how many Happy Meal bags pile up in the backseat, Billy vows not to litter.

Join iRACE for updates from the team throughout the grueling drive, including reports on road and weather conditions, how far they’ve gone, how much junk food they=B9ve eaten and the all-important "stink index" inside the cars. If you’re curious how it feels to drive nonstop for five days, come to the iRACE message boards and send Billy and crew a question.

http://www.irace.com/gatheringplace/challenge97/index.htm

--=20 -------------------- Chris Poterala chrisp@irace.com http://www.irace.com

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