Posted by: Jerry Garrett | April 13, 2011

World Race 2011 To Start April 14

Competitors in the 1908 New York to Paris race start from Times Square. A 2011 event starting April 14 from the same place is re-enacting the race. (The New York Times)

NEW YORK CITY

Eighteen teams were scheduled to take the green flag April 14 in Times Square here for the start of World Race 2011, a re-enactment of sorts of the 1908 New York to Paris around-the-world race.

The original event, sponsored by The New York Times, was won by George Schuster, a mechanic from Buffalo, driving a 1907 Thomas Flyer. The winners traveled by road for more than 13,000 miles; the race took six months to complete.

The re-enactment is expected to take much less time than that, even though the competition, which initially travels to San Francisco, takes a six-week break while the vehicles are shipped to China.

The original race’s competitors went by steamer to Japan, then to Russia, where the route took them across Siberia and then into Europe.

The 2011 event eschews Siberia for a more southerly route through China.

Another difference is that while the 1908 event showcased the still rather novel idea of automobile transportation as a whole, the 2011 race features  automotive innovations, such as hybrid vehicles, and progressive technologies.

Among this year’s competitors are a multi-fuel Chevrolet Corvette, a 1929 Ford Model A, a turbocharged natural-gas Volkswagen Jetta, a 1916 Studebaker racecar and a Freightliner semi-truck.

This event will be scored like a rally, and the racers will try to arrive at checkpoints close to a scheduled time.

The winner is expected will drive into Paris on July 21.

(We will check in on the event, from time to time, at this blog site.)

Jerry Garrett

April 13, 2011

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Responses

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