Tourist Trophy of America 2018 (TTOA) – A road trip of epic proportions
The Tourist Trophy of America (TTOA) 2018 is the run-up to the National Event for Audi Club North America. This isn’t your great-grandfather’s Oregon Trail ride. We’ll “Gateway” from St. Louis MO on Saturday the 4th of August 2018. We’ll travel cross-country via a quick-paced but scenic route through middle America, the mountains and badlands, a run through the Columbia River Gorge, and a final push to Tacoma WA. Names like Carhenge and Route 66 will figure in the run. Other Mannschaft (teams) will run from the southwest and west, with a goal of linking not later than the exit from the Columbia River Gorge near Vancouver OR. We’ll highlight local Chapters and dealerships to draw attention to the Audi brand and the Audi.
Day 0- Assemble in St. Louis MO (Friday 3 August: be there, or be a BMW!)
Day 1- BBQ from St. Louis to KC!
Day 2- Carhenge and the MON (middle of nowhere)
Day 3- SLC and the Bonneville Salt Flats (the need for speed)
Day 4- The Maryhill Loops and Hood River
Day 5- The Run to Rainier
While not every good idea begins on the back of a cocktail napkin, sometimes the best do…the idea of the Tourist Trophy of America (TTOA) has one such origin. Taking form while sitting at breakfast under the Georgia sun at the Audi Club 2016 National Event, the idea of an organized drive as a lead-in to this year’s National Event was first discussed.
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 Audi of America headquarters in Herndon, VA, where a linkup with our Audi sponsors driving a new TT RS and 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 departed for our next stop – Wilmington, DE.
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, 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 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 Audi Club Northwest.
Any questions, please email Ted Dannemiller: [email protected]