“There’s no shame in coming in third place,” I kept telling myself on the flight home from the 2013 Mazda Adventure Rally. “Nothing wrong with that at all.” But I was lying to myself.
Third place is like the last place of the winners club. Sure, it might be cute to see a kid holding a participation ribbon or third place trophy, but last year’s Mazda Rally saw road test editor Mike Schlee and I spewing expletives, tip-toeing the lines of the legal speed limits and pouring sweat as we pushed ourselves to the podium. Third place just wasn’t as rewarding as we thought it would be.
Fortunately, we’re once again getting the chance to top the podium this year, with Mazda inviting us to the 2014 Mazda Adventure Rally. The details are the same as last years event, which in case you missed it, means that we get absolutely no details. Mike and I (otherwise known as Team Eunos Cosmo) will arrive at the airport tomorrow with no idea of where we’re going or what cars we’re driving. Last year’s event at least featured a teaser photo of the canyons in Utah, while this year we’re completely in the dark.
Luckily, Mike and I are experienced automotive journalists, so we dug deep into our inventory of tricks and sources to find out more about the event trying to gain an edge any way we can. After asking Mazda multiple times (and even resorting to bribing, begging and offering back-rubs) we exhausted all our options and decided we’ll just wait until tomorrow for all the details. You can’t say we didn’t try to tell you more!
But I’m not worried at all. Mike’s skill behind the wheel and my organization and navigation skills were a potent combo last year. We faced teetering, death-defying cliffs and path-less desert trails after we pushed oxygen deprived Mazda crossovers to the peaks of Colorado’s gorgeous mountains. Whatever Mazda could throw at us this year – it can’t be any harder than last year’s event… Right?
Regardless of the location, the participant list seems to have increased, meaning tougher competition for the #1 spot. Will our rivals be gracious and friendly or will they be cunning and conniving, resorting to pranking us and getting in our heads? Mike and I have as strong a bond as any two guys working together for a few years could have, which is to say – one little thing could get us at each others necks in a moment… Hopefully the other teams don’t know that…
Follow along as we take part in the 2014 Mazda Adventure Rally and earn some money for the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis.
Follow along as we take on this unplanned journey, blogging, Tweeting, Vining and Instagraming as we go. Will we emerge as the victors in this crazy stunt? We might even need your help so check out our twitter profiles at www.twitter.com/Sami_HA and www.twitter.com/mikeschlee, and don’t forget to followAutoGuide.com’s main twitter account for more details and updates of our adventure.