Team Magna Flow

Thanks to Team MagnaFlow!

Day 3 – Chicago, Illinois to Kansas City, Missouri

Day Three began in Chicago at the House of Blues.

To mix things up a bit, the tour would actually have to trek north aways to a Ferrari dealer near Lake Forest, Illinois, just north of Chicago.

Once again, there was a mad dash to get to the first stop, a scant 35 miles away.

JP and I set out in the Panoz and because of freeway gridlock, we once again chose surface streets. We rolled into the Ferrari dealer in the top 10 (not that it mattered) and were greeted by a stunning show room, more goodie bags (we’ve been getting goody bags for the last two days, along with Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries at every night stop).

The dealership was packed with McLaren SLR’s, Aston Martins, even an F1 Ferrari chassis, straight from Europe.

As the crowds gathered, each car was hand inspected by Ferrari technicians. Fluids were topped off, tire pressures were checked and lug nut torque was verified. Classy touch.

This attention to the car’s condition invariably led to speculation that we were going to Indy for our lunch stop…it made sense if you looked at a map.

For the hour that we sat around after breakfast, rumors spread quickly. Some said St Louis, some said Kansas City, I swore it’d be Indy.

By this time, we were getting friendly with the AMG Dolls (Jasmine and Ashley) and Team Riecke (Jay and Byron). Both were skilled drivers who took reasonable numbers of calculated risks, although Team AMG Dolls were definitely pushing the envelope. We strategize with Team Riecke a bit and after learning the final destination, we decided to stick close to them at all costs.

The tour was very late getting started. Rollout wasn’t until after 11AM and as we pulled up to fetch our route card, a quick glance revealed that our lunch stop (at Anheuser Busch) was about 200 miles away…and that the lunch was starting in an hour. Now, the Panoz is fast, but it ain’t that fast.

Nevertheless, we tore out of Northern Chicago on the heels of the front runners, including Rob Feretti’s Ford GT and Team Riecke. Within minutes, our plan unraveled as the top three teams bugged out with some, shall we say, aggressive maneuvers. For us to have any chance at a top ten finish, today was going to be about navigation.

Armed with Garmin’s stellar GPS system (and XM radio…thanks to our Panoz buddies), we settled in for a brisk drive in the staggering humidity of central Illinois.

Once again, we found ourselves near the front and soon found ourselves in a pack of Porsches. The Panoz did a brilliant job of keeping pace with the Porsches on the deserted roads of Southern Illinois. After witnessing another cop stop, we soldiered on and picked up the pace a bit. Without a radar detector, we were easy pickings in within an hour, I got my first ticket. I was going with the flow of traffic, but the decals on the Panoz’s sexy profile screamed “pull me over.

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