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Drivers in high-end vehicles race to Las Vegas
6/5/2005, 1:13 p.m. PT
The Associated Press

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Washington State Patrol troopers pulled over Porsches, Ferraris and a Lamborghini on Interstate 5 this weekend to cite drivers in the first leg of the 2005 Seattle-to-Las Vegas Players Run.

More than 50 cars that included $200,000, 200-mph exotics left Seattle on Saturday, with some clocked going 120 mph.

Racers veered between lanes, followed too close and otherwise drove aggressively, forcing troopers to stop all traffic on the freeway with a rolling road block necessary to pull over the vehicles.

Reckless driving citations - with fines up to $1,000 - were issued to 12 drivers, including residents from Bellevue, Salem and Lake Oswego, Ore., Finksburg, Md., Plantation, Fla., and San Antonio.

One driver cited in Lewis County drove a Porsche outfitted with a police scanner and video equipment.

"We are just a bunch of wealthy guys that have money to spend on gadgets. We are enthusiasts," a driver told authorities.

The group does have rules about driving the speed limit, though, and even disqualifies those caught ignoring them, organizers said.

"We state very clearly to all the participants that it's a rally, not a race," said Valerie Lex.

Drivers pay $9,800 to participate.

While on their "Poker Run," they will stop in Ashland, Ore., San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, collecting enough playing cards along the way for a poker hand to play when they reach Las Vegas on Wednesday. Once there, they're treated to helicopter flights and rides aboard yachts.

This is the third year the five-day race has been held.


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