A look at the Autoweek America Adventure Presented by SRT® teams.
The Flying Baldini Brothers, Queen of Hearts, Plum Floored, Helmet 2 Heels and the Banzai Brothers. Those are not circus acts or even competitors in a crazy dance competition, but rather early entrants in the 2012 Autoweek America Adventure Presented by SRT®. A unique road rally competition attracts unique competitors.
When the green flag flies on the Autoweek America Adventure Presented by SRT on October 24, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a vast spectrum will be represented in the week-long event. Headliners include an IndyCar star, a pair of race team owners, a couple of broadcast journalists, and quite a few automotive enthusiasts. Some are rookies and some are road rally veterans, and they will all take to the road and track, testing their mettle during the event to win a 2012 300 SRT.
Graham Rahal, who finished 10th in points with the IndyCar Series this season, will climb behind the wheel for the second time in the road rally/challenge event. Rahal has a personal interest as the entire event will benefit his charity, the Graham Rahal Foundation. The second-generation racer has dubbed his team for the event as Car4Sale.
"I'm really looking forward to the Autoweek America Adventure this year," said Rahal, son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal. "Last year was my first time doing an event like that and I really didn't know what to think going, but I absolutely enjoyed it. A week together with the same people is a long time, but it's a week with car nuts and that made it so much fun.
"The challenges each day are tough and the bonuses are even tougher, and you really have to work at it and be sharp. The driving part of it is such a blast. Last year we went from Seattle to Las Vegas and I don't think we were ever on a freeway for more than 40 miles. The set-up of the event is fantastic."
Chris and Tim Baldini, better known as "The Flying Baldini Brothers," and their teammate Kailee Wheeler won the inaugural Autoweek America Adventure last year, taking home a Mopar® '11 Charger for their efforts. The brothers, who have entered quite a few road rally events since moving from upstate New York to Seattle about 10 years ago, will drive their Mopar '11 Charger in this year's Adventure.
Steve and Terri Menzies have plenty of experience owning championship winning off-road racing teams, and will be able to use some of the information and skills they've learned over the years from world-class drivers such as Ricky Johnson, Rob MacCachren and their son Bryce, as they contest the Autoweek Adventure America Presented by SRT. Hailing from Las Vegas and knowing the rugged terrain between Colorado Springs and "Sin City" very well, the couple will be right at home along the route.
Dutch Mandel, the Publisher of Autoweek, has entered the Adventure under the team name "The Honey Badgers." The Detroit native has spent most of his life around cars and will trade writing about them for a week of testing his driving and analytical skills during the competition.
The 2012 Autoweek America Adventure Presented by SRT begins on Wednesday, October 24, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and will conclude on Tuesday, October 30, in Las Vegas. Each day, points will be earned by solving clues, completing challenges/missions, and correctly negotiating the route with time and speed limits. The team finishing first within the rules each day will earn a key, one of seven total keys that will be handed out. At the finish in Las Vegas, one key will start a brand-new 2012 300 SRT.
"It's pretty important to have a good co-driver," said Rahal, who will be teamed again this year with his stepfather. "It's easy to get frustrated while you're out there. You're probably going to get lost. You're probably not going to win the car key every day. There will be little things that you forget to do and lose points, but having a good partner and staying clear-minded is a big key. More than anything, it's about having fun and a good time."
For more information on the Autoweek America Adventure Presented by SRT, as well as complete rules and entry information, visit theamericaadventure.com..