Plainfield – A national vintage and classic car rally will be heading to Plainfield next week.
The 2022 Hemmings Motor News Big Race kicks off in Rhode Island on June 18 and makes multiple stops across the country, including Plainfield on June 22.
A press release about the event describes the 2,300-mile Great Race as the “world’s premier vintage car rally”. The event will bring over 130 vintage vehicles to downtown Plainfield shortly after 4:30 p.m. on June 22.
“We are thrilled to bring this unique event to Plainfield for the very first time,” race director Jeff Stumb said in the statement. “Plainfield is an important place in the world of vintage cars because it is the only shared alignment of two historic roads, the Lincoln Highway and Route 66.”
Organizers said the Grande Course is not about speed, but is “a time/speed/distance rally”. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, receive precise instructions every day that detail every movement down to the second. They are marked at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for every second early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.
The nine-day race will pass through 19 cities from Rhode Island to North Dakota. 2022 winners will receive $50,000.
Each stage of the Grande Course is free to the public and spectators can visit the participants and see the cars for several hours.
“When the Great Race comes to a city, it becomes an instant festival,” Stumb said in a statement. “Last year we had several night stops with over 10,000 spectators en route for 250,000 people to see the Great Race during the event.”
Great Race teams will head north from Interstate 55 and US Route 30 to downtown Plainfield on June 22. The entrance arch will be located at Lockport and Illinois streets where an opening ceremony is scheduled to begin around 4:15 p.m. The cars will be on display until 7:30 p.m., according to the statement.
Lockport Street will be closed to traffic that evening.
The Plainfield Historical Society also worked with the village to organize the event. Michael Lambert, president of the historical society, said several re-enactors will be on hand that evening to represent Plainfield residents associated with the village’s early transportation history.
The race is inspired by Blake Edwards’ 1965 slapstick comedy “The Great Race,” which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. The film is a comedy based on the real 1908 car race from New York to Paris.
For more information on the Great Race, visit greatrace.com or contact Stumb at firstname.lastname@example.org.