More than 1,000 spectators applauded enthusiastically on a recent Sunday monring as some 80 exquisite vintage sports, GT and classic cars launched Mille Miglia-style from Tempe Diablo Stadium to start up the 21st annual Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000, a four-day road rally across the mountains, high chaparral and deserts of Arizona.
Sunny skies and mild temperatures greeted participants at the launch, but at the 9:30 a.m. driver's meeting, Copperstaters were briefed on unexpectedly cold-weather conditions approaching their final destination Sunday night in Greer, AZ, where sub-freezing temperatures in the teens were predicted, along with accumulated fresh snow dumped the previous day.
Arizona Dept. of Public Safety Sgt. Bob Bowers warned drivers to "watch for black ice in the shady spots," and advised them to make a "casual, slow ride this morning" to avoid speeding tickets in the small towns encountered along the way. Despite the warning, three cars were stopped by municipal gendarmes before they even cleared the Phoenix metro area Sunday morning... Read more