The first day of the Rally Appalachia 2011 kicked off yesterday, July 19, at 8 a.m. with over 70 cars hitting the road. More than 135 drivers and navigators were taking part, bringing a wide array of vehicles, including a powerful Bentley, a Ford Escape, numerous Pontiac GTOs, several trucks (including a Ford F-150 Lightning), Corvettes, Challengers, and, of course, Mustangs. Mustang participants came from every generation of the car, from as early as 1960s all the way to present day, including several Fox bodies and even a Mustang II.
To participate, each team registered and made a modest donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which helps the families of those service men and women who lost their lives serving our country. Learn more about this worthwhile fund by clicking here.
The day consisted of 11 checkpoints, starting in Winchester, VA. According to the Speed Bros blog from Day 1, one of the Pontiac GTOs managed to get pulled over 30 minutes out of the gate for an improper lane change. Thankfully, they were let go with a warning and were able to continue. The only casualty was a Ford Mustang GT, which went down early with a blown throw out bearing, though that's expected to be repaired today, as a new part is being delivered overnight to their location. The rest of the day included a stop at a nearby VA Hospital to visit with patients, numerous checkpoints along the scenic Skyline Drive, and a few laps of the Shenandoah Speedway.
The day ended up in Natural Bridge, VA. The day's winner happened to be CJ Pony Service Manager, Bil,Tumas. The Rally Appalachia continues today and Thursday, so we'll see if Bill continues his momentum from Day 1, or if another team steps up and takes the lead for the remaining two-thirds of the race.