words: Bud Dannemiller, photos: Bud Dannemiller and George Achorn
Note: Planning for the Audi Club North America 34th National Event in Tacoma, WA ongoing and so is the next Tourist Trophy of America (TTOA 2018). If you want to follow or even join in on this cross country run, join the Facebook event page, TTOA 2018 by Audi Club North America: “The Run to Rainier”. – Bill
While not every good idea starts on the back of a cocktail napkin, sometimes the best do…the idea of the Tourist Trophy of America (TTOA) has one such origin. Hatched while sitting at breakfast under the Georgia sun at the ACNA’s 2016 National Event, the idea of an organized drive as a lead-in to this year’s National Event was first o pined.
Originally envisioned as a full transcontinental drive from east to west, it evolved when the 2017 location of New York City meant most initially involved would be sticking loosely to the I-95 corridor if not I-95 itself. Some agile planning to pull this long distance wheels-in-motion event off included the designation of a primary route and scheduled stops as well the procurement of decals and shirts to commemorate the event for the participants.
In the end, four cars initially took part, converging on the Audi of America headquarters in Herndon, VA, the morning of 12 July where a linkup with our Audi sponsors driving a new TT RS and the newest RS 3 was accomplished. Following a bit of show and shine of our own cars and facetime with the latest model offerings in the Audi Forum on site, the newly formed caravan then departed for our next stop – Wilmington, DE – and lunch.
Along the route, we met up with a sixth car being piloted by members of the Audi Club of Georgia. Lunch at the Iron Hill Brewery in Wilmington proved a treat. A troublesome window regulator 700 miles from home forced one car to temporarily drop out of the caravan while repairs were accomplished most helpfully by Chris Oakes, the Service Client Advisor, at Audi Wilmington.
The main body of the caravan negotiated its way from Wilmington to New York City and ultimately arrived at Tarrytown by 6:00 PM, just in time to enjoy the welcoming cocktail party that marked the beginning of the 33rd National Event.
All in all, a good time was had by all…regardless of whether we were driving the open roads and highways, or even the concrete canyons of Manhattan. And while the cars truly brought us together for the 2017 TTOA, the friendship and camaraderie that developed over the course of the drive and at the 33rd National Event have helped fuel planning for next year’s cross-country run to the Pacific North West.
This story originally ran in the Fall 2017 issue of the Audi Club North America quattro quarterly print magazine. In order to subscribe to quattro quarterly, join the Audi Club North America HERE.