RACING

Launch of a major race car rally from Warwick, bound for North Dakota

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WARWICK — To the cheers of a huge crowd, the drivers of a legendary long-distance driving competition set off for the Midwest on Saturday morning.

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They took 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 to Fargo, North Dakota.

La Grande Course, which isn’t 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 viewpoints along the ceremonial launch route on local roads.

After:Classic cars from the USA, Japan, England, Australia and Canada race from Warwick to North Dakota

What is at stake for the winner of the Great Race?

The rally is named after the 1965 film starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. Competitors compete for prizes including a $50,000 purse for first place.

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