This June, classic car drivers and navigators from Japan, England, Australia, Canada, and every corner of the United States, will converge in Warwick as 120 vintage automobiles set off on the 2022 Great Race. Rocky Point State Park will serve as the starting point for the world’s premier old car rally.
“We are honored and thrilled the Great Race is coming to the city of Warwick this summer,” said Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi. “Not only will the spectacular event bring the world’s finest antique automobiles to Warwick, but it will also showcase our beautiful city to spectators young and old.”
The race kicks off from Rocky Point State Park Saturday, June 18, with cars dating back as far as 1916 lining up at 8 a.m. and the first car leaving at 10:30 a.m. The finish will be in Fargo, N.D., on June 26. The 9-day, 2,300-mile adventure will travel to 19 cities across 10 states.
“In the 39-year history of the Great Race, the event has made its way east and west and north and south through 46 of the 48 contiguous United States,” event director Jeff Stumb said. “In 2022, the Great Race will finally be able to add the last two states to the list – Rhode Island and North Dakota.”
A visit to the Ocean State also means a boost to the local economy to the tune of nearly half a million dollars.
“This summer’s event is expected to attract more than 1,300 guests, utilize nearly 1,000 hotel room nights in the Providence/Warwick area, and generate upwards of $495,000 in direct spending,” said John Gibbons, executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission. “We’re excited that Warwick and the state of Rhode Island can be included in such a unique event that further demonstrates the wide array of sporting events our state can accommodate.”
Additional Great Race events planned around the state include a tour of a private car collection in Providence, as well as “Newport Day” on Thursday, June 16, highlighting the city’s rich car culture, featuring the Audrain Automobile Museum and the Newport Car Museum.
The Great Race is not a speed race, but a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins. The 2022 Grand Champion will receive a $50,000 cash prize.
Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public and spectators will be able to visit with the participants and to look at the cars for several hours. More information about the event can be found at greatrace.com.