From Bobby Danger and Joshua Murray – updates after Day 1 and Day 2, as they compete in the Alcan 5000.

We finished day one in 18th place overall so we like that. At least we are not last!

Let me start by saying we had a great day and enjoyed the whole event and experiences. After a short drive north of Kirkland we began the first TSD section. Josh took the wheel and this would be our very first TSD ever.   That’s right, ever.

It wasn’t the same as it was at the hotel start where they line all the cars up and tell them when to go. On all later sections we all line up at an invisible line which is indicated on the route notes we receive. Often it is a telephone pole, a sign or a particular intersection. Each vehicle must then leave at their own time which is indicated by their own calibrated clocks. It should be the same one minute intervals but its crazy watching how many of them leave either early or late.  We didn’t  even know that we could calibrate our clocks with the officials so we were actually going with our best guess and did very well on start times.

It started well for us but we caught up to the car in front of us and didn’t know what to do.  We slowed and were stuck behind them for a while. Their speed effects ours at that point and once you are 60 or more seconds behind you are scored 60 points max for that section.  We did pass them eventually but didn’t manage to recover.

Next stop Canada! Crossing into Canada today really set it home that we were doing this and going the distance.  No border issues, I call that a win for everyone.

On the second TSD,  I drove and Josh navigated. This worked much better simply because Josh is a lot better at the calculations than I am. We  caught up to the car in front of us so of course now we had to question if they were off or if our own timing was off and what we needed to do. I eventually chose to pass them but we were unable to make the time back up. We didn’t time out but we lost about 30 seconds and unfortunately, didn’t gain it back.

I’m still not sure what our final points were for the day only that it placed us in 18th.

Several of the top cars currently have 0 points. I don’t know how they do it other than their racing experience.

I think we are figuring out the game and how it plays and we need to figuring out how to make our simple equipment work for us, so we expect to do much better tomorrow.

All in all we had a great time and learned from the experience.

Day 2

Today was a long, long day. Over  530 miles not including a few detours.

We started with Josh driving and we were doing really well until a miscalculation by myself resulted in a major speed increase that pushed us way ahead of our target time.

By the time I figured out what I had done we had blown it. There was some tension in the car but we managed to talk about it and Josh was very helpful teaching me some of his math formulas to calculate changes on the fly.

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We talked about how to approach the next TSD of the day which was just an hour away and agreed that I would give the navigation thing a shot and work on the new ideas we had developed.

This turned out to be very fun and very fast. Lots of loose gravel, snow and ice. We finished this TSD better than any of the rest by a long shot and I  don’t  think we had any major communication problems.

When this TSD finished we were someplace deep off the highway and had a good distance to cover to get back on the main roads. I think all the competitors were feeling pretty good by now and this road was just begging to be driven.

Unfortunately the enthusiasm got the better of a few and we had 2 vehicles go off in separate incidences. No one was hurt and both cars were back on the road after a strong show of support from competitors and Alcan 5000 staff in getting them going.

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We began the long drive to Pomeroy and arrived later than expected and exhausted.  Preliminary reports put us in 14th overall. I’m going to try and confirm this in the morning.

– Bobby Danger