The Lake Michigan Grand Lake Tour
August 15-16, 2013
The Grand Lake Tour Endurance Rally was held on August 15-16 in conjunction with the University Motors Summer Party Reunion. This year was the 20th anniversary of the initial GLT in 1993. The GLT was founded by Phil & Dallas Smith as a way to demonstrate the reliability and durability of MGs and their owners. The rally this year followed the most prevalent format of driving all the way around Lake Michigan in one continuous drive. Entrants accomplished this in 25 to 28.5 hours.
Steve Skegg and Kim Tonry of the Chicagoland MG Club were the organizers and Rallymasters by virtue of having won this event last year.
Using only paper maps (no electronic mapping or GPS is permitted) the entrants visited 20 assigned checkpoints around Lake Michigan. The object was to do so while accruing the least mileage. Street addresses were given to locate the checkpoints which were a mix of microbreweries, which were obvious, and the sites of MG dealerships in the early 70’s. These were not as obvious as some are still auto related businesses; some unrelated types of businesses and some are now vacant lots. The only one that is still a British car dealership is Imperial Motors in Wilmette – still a Jaguar dealership.
Three intrepid teams entered the competition. Stef and Mike Barnes of St. Louis in a 1971 MGB GT, brothers Eric and Jason Duram of the Grand Rapids area in a 1978 MGB roadster and our own David Novak and Lisa Jones in their 1974 MGB Roadster SPNL TAP.
The event stated at 6:30am on Thursday August 15 in the lobby of the Grand Rapids Airport Hilton, the host hotel for the Summer Party. A 28 mile loop on area highways was run to calculate correction factors to eliminate variability in odometers. Each contestant’s driver’s license was sealed in an envelope. The rules specify all traffic laws must be obeyed. If an envelope is opened, as in the case of it being demanded by law enforcement personnel, the entrant is disqualified. With these formalities dispensed with, the teams were given 20 sheets, each listing a checkpoint. Each had two or three photographs taken at the checkpoints with details blanked out and the team had to tell what had been obscured. The teams had to decide what order to tackle the checkpoints and plot the most efficient navigation between them.
Two teams ran counterclockwise and the winning team tackled the Chicago area first by going clockwise. All teams were back at the start/finish point at the Grand Rapids Hilton by 12:30pm EDT on Friday.
The final results were:
1st Place - Stefanie and Mike Barnes of St. Louis, MO visiting 20 of 20 checkpoints in 969 miles.
2nd Place - Eric Duram of Lowell, MI and Jason Duram of Saranac, MI visiting 20 of 20 checkpoints in 1004 miles.
3rd Place - David Novak and Lisa Jones of Chicago, IL visiting 11 of 20 checkpoints in 938 miles.
The Barnes’ were presented with the Chicagoland Cup travelling trophy which our club created for this event in 1997. They’re names will be engraved on the trophy along with all the other winning teams. This is the fourth time a team from the St. Louis MG Club has won this event, matching the Chicagoland MG Club’s record of four wins.
Congratulations to the winners and all the participants!
|~~Steve Skegg & Kim Tonry