Big Bend Open Road Race

ToadDate 0206.04.22.17-TX

We have been in Fort Stockton this weekend and have participated in some of the spectator events for the 20th annual running of the Big Bend Open Road Race. The race is a 118-mile race on US highway 285 from Fort Stockton to Sanderson (The Cactus Capitol of Texas) and return. The race contributes over a million dollars annually to the Fort Stockton/Sanderson economies.

There is a car show, parade and party that are open to visitors. At 7:30 am Saturday, we tried to go to the starting line to see the race begin at 8am, but US285 was completely closed between Fort Stockton and Sanderson from 7am until 5pm. We were not allowed to walk to the starting line. The officer said that the cars had been at the starting line since 7am and the spectators had arrived around 5:30 am.

The race is a rally-style competition regarded as the most challenging open-road race in the United States because no other road race has as many turns and elevation changes over the course. The race is open to anyone 18 or over.

The race has six divisions and 17 classes with target average speeds of 85 MPH to 160 MPH. For these classes you have minimum and maximum speeds that you may drive on the course. The winner of these classes is the driver that comes closest to the target average speed (measured in elapsed time). A few years ago, the winner of one class was .001 seconds off the target time, the second place was .002 off the target time and the 3rd place finisher was .004 off the time.

In addition to these division/classes there is an unlimited division where the fastest speed over the course is the winner. There is a minimum age for the driver/navigator of 21. The minimum speed for a car in this division is 135 MPH, below this speed the car is considered disabled and must pull off the course.

In the 2016 BBORR the unlimited division had two finishers, the top average speed for 118 miles was just over 165 MPH.

 

 

 

 

OFF PERFECT

 

Leg 1 = 59 Miles

 

Leg 2 = 59 Miles

 

POS

#

DRIVER, NAVIGATOR, HOMETOWN

YEAR/ MAKE

TIME

SPEED

TIME

SPEED

TIME

SPEED

1

31

Tom Whalen, Frisco, TX

03 CORVETTE

00:00.000

166.065

21:26.634

165.082

21:11.395

167.060

2

7

Charlie Friend, Alamogordo, NM

65 COVAIR

+02:10.351

158.013

22:39.516

156.232

22:08.866

159.836

 

In the Street Rod target speed 85 MPH the results were:

1 4 John Tienmann, Austin, TX 11 PICKUP -00:02.564 +0.044 41:35.943 85.098 41:39141 84.989
2 45 James Hays, Chris Hays, Houston, TX 94 MIATA +00:04.043 -0.069 41:41.133 84.922 41:40.557 84.941
3 169 Barry Tubb, Mike Odom, Snyder, TX 90 SOBB +00:24801 -0.420 41:53.028 84.520 41:49.421 84.8461

So, if you have a decently maintained vehicle that can average 85 MPH, you can enter the race.

Our neighbor in the RV park was racing a silver Lexus (#157), he was entered in Touring/Class 2 with a target speed of 105 MPH.

Here is an interesting article from TEXAS HIGHWAYS magazine.

And here a video from a BBORR Ferrari in the 2016 race:


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