Great Race car rally launches from Warwick, bound for North Dakota

WARWICK — To the cheer of massive crowds, the drivers of a legendary long-distance driving competition set out for the Midwest late Saturday morning.

They rolled their 130 classic cars out of Rocky Point State Park on a mostly secret 2,300-mile course that leads from the shores of Narragansett Bay all the way to Fargo, North Dakota.

The Great Race, which is not actually a race, is a 39-year-old rally event that challenges drivers to complete an epic course with precise timing and navigation.

The event drew thousands of spectators to Rocky Point and to vantage points along the ceremonial kickoff course on local roads.

More:Classic cars from US, Japan, England, Australia, Canada race from Warwick to North Dakota

What’s at stake for the Great Race winner?

The rally is named after the 1965 movie starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. The competitors are vying for prizes that include a $50,000 purse for first place.

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