Welcome back to AutoGuide’s exploits at the Mazda Adventure Rally. We rejoin team Eunos Cosmo (Sami and Mike) as they prepare to embark on the very first day of driving.
Before sending us off to bed last night, Mazda gave us our objectives for today. Finally, some time to prepare. Mike and I slaved over the reading material, searching for some sort of competitive edge while other teams glossed over the rules and maps before dinner.
Each team a list of 10 local landmarks and points of interest to visit today. Using a specific set of roads and freeways within a particular geographic area, we have to find and photograph of as many as possible. Snapping a shot that shows the landmark and the continental divide, which runs along the Rocky Mountains, will score bonus points. We have only four hours and 15 minutes to complete this task.
Based on our route, Mike and I respectfully disagree. We won’t spill the beans for fear of other teams stealing our plans, but there’s an air of post-planning confidence in our hotel room.
That’s not the only mission for today, as we also have another route to take, which awards points for those who experience the greatest elevation change. Again, we’re asked to stay within a set geographical area, so we can’t stray off in the wrong direction up a mountain.
Mazda’s plucky CX-5 crossover and the big CX-9 family hauler seem up to the task, even with the thin mountain air robbing roughly 64 hp from the 2.5-liter four cylinder engine.
Still, Mike and I are optimistic, and there’s a sense of confidence brewing in our team that few other groups seem to have.
Follow our progress on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Sami_HA and www.twitter.com/mikeschlee. Don’t forget to check out the main AutoGuide.com twitter account. Mazda also provided an excellent tracker for our readers to follow us in real time.