Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ralf Christensson's Misfortune in 2010

Since Ralf Christensson from Sweden is a very good friend of mine and knowing he suffered some terrible misfortune while driving a Mats Hammarlund rental at this years La Carrera Panamericana I asked him for a summary of all that took place and here is his reply...

To give you the short story:

As so many others, when we arrived in Mexico City for our connecting flight to Tuxtla we found out that Mexicana didn't fly anymore. So it was just to buy new tickets for us 2 the next day. Not a big problem if it wasn't for the fact that our families was to fly down the week after. In all we had 24 flights to rebook!

Finally in Tuxtla we meet up with Mats and the crew. And our yellow
Volvo. Specially since we had t-shirts and postcards with a yellow Volvo. We where a bit surprised to see red Volvo and after a while they told us that they had decided to repaint the car to red the week before. But they didn't remember to tell us. It hadn't matter since our stuff was already printed. But it was a surprise.

Since we had 4 days before the race our plan was to fix some minor stuff on the car and then just drive the car as much as possible. Like anything ever goes according to plan in Mexico. It turned out to be 4 days of working on the car and in total 3 hours test driving. It's not a good plan to do the Carrera in a car you never driven, and I consider 3 hours as nothing. To add to this, my co-pilot Kristian had never been a co-pilot before so some practice for him would be great. Not much to do but drive and take it as it comes.

After the qualification, which we considered a test drive for corners, we started the race something like in the middle of the cars. It was a great day and we had lots of fun. The car did well until 2 kilometers from finish in the last leg. A wheel bearing decided to quit on us. Standing at the side of the road, knowing that another 2 and we had finished all stages was no fun.
After about 5-6 hours the service team with spares showed up and fixed the car. It was night driving to town! Not the best start of the race. Anyway we where still in. As always, the results at the drivers meeting was a mess. Since we hadn't completed the day we did not have any times at all. So our start the next day wasn't even on the starting list. We managed to get a starting time somewhere among the last 10 starters. Lot's of passing
that day.

We made it the second day and I can assure you that we where as happy as the winner. Third day was a bit better. We started in a fairly good spot, perfect driving and doing good speed. Came to service and not much to fix. Leaving service and after about 20 minutes after, the car started to misfire and sounded like we lost one cylinder. Short after smoke came from the motor. Pulled over and just stated that this is it! Pulled a spark plug and noted that it was smashed. Not a good sign. Called the crew who showed up quick. At this point it was the end of the race for us.

Third day was with the crew in the van. Even if it's interesting to see a new side of the race, I didn't like it at all. And imaging having to do this the rest of the race too.

Luckily, for us, the other Swedish team crashed in Mil Cumbres, without injuries. But their car was gone. Same second I heard it, I thought about the motor. Trying to talk the crew in to it wasn't easy. It was late at night before Mats and the crew was on the same page. Some of Mats crew was on our side from start and really helped to convince the others. This was in Morelia It was decided that me and Kristian together with Erik, our assigned mechanic that did a great job during the week, and Luciane, probably not the correct spelling sorry for that. Luciane is from Morelia and have a "workshop" there that we could use.

Our red Volvo was still in Queretaro and the blue donor was on it's way to Morelia. Early bed and then we changed the motors the day after. Was some problems but nothing we couldn't fix. Strangely the blue motor had survived the crash. A hole in the oil sump was all. Except for the fire that took most soft parts a couple of days before.

After the motor change, we had plans on painting the car yellow again to get some good luck back, but we didn't have the time. At around 8 pm we started the drive to Guadalajara to be able to hook up with the rest of the gang and prepare for start the day after.

And lucky for us, the rest of the race, 2 days, was OK. Misfiring and stuff but nothing major. Needless to say, we didn't have the best Carrera. But if I sum it all up, meeting all the people, culture, food, mexicans, cars and driving, it was a great week and it will most likely be followed by more. But next time it's back to the old trustworthy Falcon.

So Gary, next year, come down and have a great time you and Jon too. I bet that Lucky is up for it.

Take care

Frank Burany who drove in the 1951 Mexican Road Race Inducted Hall Of Fame

Chris Economaki reported that Frank and Helen Burany celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary at their winter home in Fort Myers, FL. Frank is 95 and Helen is 93. Their summer home is in Wisconsin. Frank drove in one of the Mexican road races.

National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame Frank Burany Inducted into the Hall of fame in 2003.

Never one to go for titles he still won two track Championships at St. Louis, and single track titles at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kokomo, Indiana and Farmer City, Illinois. The Walsh Stadium Champion in 1948 and ’49 turned a smooth and steady driving style into a good living by picking his races and his travels.

Frank began racing midgets in 1935 and became respected by car owners as a man who would not bend the equipment and who would place in the money. Records show at least 80 victories throughout the Midwest, Southwest and Pennsylvania including 12 National Midget Championship features. He was 4th in AAA National points in 1949 and 6th in 51. He scored National points every year for 16 years from 1948 to 1963 and placed in the top 21 five times.

Frank also drove in the 1951 Mexican Road Race. He has thrilled fans from Gilmore Stadium California to Williams Grove, Penn-sylvania. Some of his better rides included Ashley Wright’s roadster and the # 2 upright which won three AAA titles with Hall of Fame Member Shorty Templeman at the wheel. Other fine car owners that used his talents were Fred Thomshe, Frank Podriznik, Joe Subjak and the Plaza brothers. Among his other pursuits Burany flew a helicopter for the Milwaukee NBC station for 9 years.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Very Good LCP Blog & Great Photos


Need A Mexico Race Fix?

The 5th Annual Chihuahua Express!
Race the Wind -- Part of the Silver State International Challenge

What? Unlimited open-road racing on paved highways across northern Mexico.

When? April 8-9-10, 2011. Three days of racing with no limit on your speed.

Where? City and State of Chihuahua, Mexico

Why? Where else in the world can you race at top speed for three days on public highway and have lunch at one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world?

Location? Chihuahua City is only 145 miles west of Presidio, Texas.

Cost? $2000 entry free until November 1. Then it goes to $2200. Hotel accommodations are additional. The TSD “regularity” rally, bracket, and Express Tour classes are $1200, plus hotels. Training in stage rally timing is provided.

Eligible Cars? any car from any era is eligible for unlimited competition, if equipped with an acceptable six-point roll cage and safety equipment, such as five/six point seat belts, fire system, and HANS devices.

Classes? for unlimited competition the eight classes of modern cars are: normally aspirated engines: (1) up to 1.6 liters, (2) above 1.6 to 2.4 liters, (3) above 2.4 to 6.2 liters, (4) above 6.2 liters, (5) Specials, and (6) Unlimited. There will be two turbo classes: (7) stock turbo-charged cars up to 2.4 liter, (8) stock turbo-charged over 2.4 liter. Brake pads, shocks, springs, and certain other parts may be upgraded on “stock” cars. Vintage and Pan Am classes are also offered.

Length? The event includes nearly 325 miles of unlimited speed stages in a total of length of about 1,000 miles.

No cage? Cars without roll cages may participate in the TSD rally, “bracket” competition (min. and max. speed in the speed stages) or the Tour.
Car Crews? A driver and navigator are required in all cars, in all classes, and there can be no more than two people in any car during the event. Drivers should have sufficient training or racing/rallyexperience before attempting the unlimited competition.

Prizes? Daily awards by class for driver and co-driver and overall trophies at the final awards ceremony. There are no cash prizes.

Format? competitors follow detailed directions in a route book and line up eight or more times a day to drive “speed stages.” The cars are started in one-minute intervals over highways closed to traffic by the Mexican Highway Patrol. The fastest cars go first, but passing is allowed. The length of the closed road or speed stage will normally be five to fifteen miles. Electronic timing is used. Road surfaces in northern Mexico are generally excellent. After each speed stage, the competitors will drive a short “transit section” to the next speed stage. The cars must check in at the next speed stage within 59 seconds of their assigned time.

The cars with the lowest total elapsed time (E.T.) for the speed stages, plus any time penalties, will be declared the winner by class and overall each day and for the entire event.

Border Crossing? Mexican tourist permit for vehicles cost $35 at the border. Permits may be purchased at some Mexican consulates and at http://www.banjercito.com.mx/. Competitors also need a US passport and Mexican tourist visa (free for one week).

Police Services? Officers of the Mexican Highway Patrol accompany the event and work with 300 local police on clearing the roads and providing security. Rescue and medical crews, along with the timing and scoring staff, travel with the race.

Auspices? The Federation of Mexican Auto Sports (FMAD), an affiliate of FIA, sanctions this event. All individuals riding in a car, in all classes, must hold a FMAD rally license for calendar 2011 to participate ($260+ USD). The license provides personal medical, death, and dismemberment insurance.

Entry Payments? May be made by personal/business check, PayPal, credit card, money order, or wire transfer. Please contact Gerie Bledsoe gbledso@aol.com for details.

Hotel information will be provided upon request.

Warning: Auto racing in any form is dangerous and may lead to property damage, serious injury, or death. Competitors assume all risk, and hold the Organizers and their agents harmless.

For information on the Silver State Classic Challenge Events:
Steve Waldman (702) 631-6166
www.silverstateclassic.com or www.sscc.us
For Chihuahua Express Rules and Information:

A Great Car To Build For La Carrera Panamericana

1954 Lincoln Capri PanAm Racer - price reduced to $12,500

This is a 1954 Lincoln Capri 2 door hardtop that was built to compete in the original class of the La Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico but only raced in the Nevada Silver Star race and in the Oregon road race. The car has a built up original motor and transmission and the original rear axle. It has an 8 point roll cage, fuel cell, full racing harnesses and upgraded suspension to handle the off road race course. The oil pan is steel strap protected and the car has racing tires and wheels.

The Lincoln has an automatic transmission with a shift kit, factory power steering and power brakes and has WORKING POWER WINDOWS! The car has a California title and license plates and is now STREET LEGAL with working headlights, ride lights, turn signals, horn, etc. The charging system, brake system, cooling system and exhaust system are all in great condition too. This is a turn-key 1954 Lincoln Capri PanAm inspired race car that you can drive on the street every day.

1954 Lincoln Capri PanAm Racer - price reduced to $12,500 - 650-348-8269

Monday, November 15, 2010

Update from Bill

Just finished the 1st day of repairing the Stude'. The frame/roll cage is almost totally undamaged. The car will be back with a new VIN #, but it will be the same car, only faster and safer. The 60 lbs of lead ballast I was carrying this year will be spent on additional cockpit safety.

Mats Hammarlund Video

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What A Bummer

Ride along with my buddy Ralf in the Mats Hammarlund Volvo. I believe this is when Ralf's chance at a good finish was ruined when the wheel bearing went bad.

Hjullager skär i La Carrera Panamericana from RCRacing on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Narrow Bovine Miss

Check out this in-car footage furnished by the Lauber/Stevenson Alfa Romeo team. Watch the 3:00 mark and you will see what many LCP teams often run in to. (no pun intended)

2010 Carrera Panamericana: La Bufa, Zacatecas -- view from the Taxi from bringatrailer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Co-PilotosJob Is To Say: "Just Haul Ass!"

What Happens If You Hit One Of Those Cement Poles

All this crazy racin got my juices flowing so I felt the need to revisit Mil Cumbre the day we on it.

Misc Battle Scars Courtesy Michael Emery

A special thanks to Michael for all the photos he contributed during this years race. Thanks Michael!

Final Results For Each Class Posted

La Carrera Panamericana organization saw fit to not post the daily results but at least they finally posted the results for each class. XXXXXXX CLICK HERE XXXXXXXXX

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Way John Nielsen Sees Things

Report from John Nielsen driver of #369 Mustang

Hello again.. well its all over for 2010.. Another Carrera down.. The last 2 days unfolded with a throw out bearing going on the clutch so we weren't able to run the last speed stage of day 6, so we got a 10 min penalty and max time for the stage. Our crew was able to get the clutch fixed over night working till 5 in the morning, so the car was ready for day 7. Thanks to Steve and Mark for that!!. We ran all the stages fast and finished 2nd for the day in class,, and we were able to climb back to a 3rd in class over all for the event.. so not bad for having two divers for 4 days.. Im sure we would have won the class if I had of drove all the days, but jack needed to learn what La carrera was all about and that was what we really came down here to do, so all and all a great finish for the both of us.. But being a competitive as I am, I wish we had of won it.. we ended up with a 1st a 2nd and a 3rd daily finish and 3rd over all.. great!! The car was great ,, was every thing I thought it could be for this race,, so was a good choice to run it.. Next year everything willing.. I will run a 51 ford crow vic in Turismo production class.. and will have my wife Emine as Navigotor again and we should be able to win in I think.. So thats it folks another carrera in the record books.. cant wait till next year,, only 364 days to go... shit!

http://www.mexsport.com.mx/mexsport/imagenes_sub.php?id1=4712 photo pages.. were the white with blue strip mustang GT350 lots og good photos,, maybe they can be blown up larger some how,, didnt see how maybe some will let me know how..cheers to all John

This Blog Gets My Vote

Anyone that has taken part in LCP knows that there are just about a million reasons why it's impossible to get up to the minute reports posted for others to enjoy. Many times there is no computer access but more importantly, the last thing teams have is "TIME" to get on line and edit a photo and download photos.

Over the years I can also relate to the fact that when teams finally do reach the comfort of home they are simply exhausted and the very last thing they feel like doing is getting on line and talking about what they did for the last 14 days.

It's safe to say there are few people (if any) that see more LCP blogs than yours truly. But I have to say, this blog about Team Tortuga Racing has to be one of the best accounts of a "personal" adventure of LCP I have seen.


Doug Mockett Come In Just A Tad Hot (Pics & Video)

There Are No Daily But Final Results Are Finally Posted



Before and After

See if you can tell which is which.

Team Ricky-Bobby Tells Their Version Of LCP

The following consist of several updates between Rob Curry of Team Ricky-Bobby and Paul Frame describing their La Carrera experience this year. It's quite a good read. Thank you Rob and Paul for sharing this with us.

In a message dated 10/27/2010 5:04:37 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,:

Things have been going well and overall much smoother than last year. However, this race is more than just about speed and driving fast, it has just as much to do with not getting lost, staying calm in high pressure situations (like a mule walking onto a race coarse while you are doing 120 MPH), not crashing, avoiding unmarked topes (speed bumps that exist in every town ) and etc. Even with great preparation and driving well, it comes down to a lot of luck. In a 2,000 mile race across a country with third world conditions, anyone's situation and ranking can turn at any time.

Accidents have been heavy with at least 20 cars crashing and probably another 20 cars in and out of the race due to mechanical failures. So far we have avoided both and at this point, we are one of the few cars to have completed all speed stages. Yesterday the race experienced one of the worse crashes of 2010 with a Studebaker's brakes failing on a speed section in the mountains. The brake failure resulted in the car rolling five times down a small cliff. They were lucky and walked away. The safety equipment in most accidents saves the lives of the driver and navigator. Another accident occurred yesterday in a transit section and the driver was taken to the hospital. Most of the time the accidents in the non-speed sections are more dangerous since safety equipment has been removed due to the heat.

Here is a recap so far:

Tech Inspection - very easy this year. We are very well known by the officials and they knew that we were the guys who were crazy enough to fly a windshield in a surf board box hand carried by my Dad to qualify for last year's race.

Qualification Race, Day 0: The race was on the track at Tuxtla Gutierrez and the condition of the track was horrible with gravel and unmarked corners. We were running well but dropped a tire off of the track which forced the car into the grass infield. Hitting the grass was like ice. I was able to keep the car from spinning but took out a good portion of their grass/weeds. I recently did some training at the Spring Mountain race track on a wet skid pad that saved us - Thanks Brad! Instead of spinning, we "fish-tailed" for a couple hundred feet and got back on the track.

Due to the off track excursion, it cost us some time and we qualified 4th in our class and 70 overall out of 120. Still better than last year's ranking 104 overall and 8th or 9th in our class. We are still confused about the actual cars in our class, it changes daily but we think we started with 6.

Day 1 Tuxtla to Oxaca:
We placed first in our class. Based on our learning curve being so step in the 2009 race, things went fairly smooth (based on La Carrera criteria). Other teams are actually asking us for advice and Rick has become the "godfather" of navigation. I may actually need to retire his nickname of "ever-lost Shaw". So far we have only received five seconds in penalties and last year we received at least five minutes during the race. Even with the five seconds, we think it is a mistake. Rules, time keeping, schedules are all flexible in Mexico. This year two brothers of the president of Mexico are in the race. The actual benefit to us is that one of the brothers drives a Porsche so we are able to stick close to the Mexican secret service and were guided quickly through the towns during the transit sections.

Day 2 To Puebla: We placed first in our class. Two cars in our class dropped out of the race due to mechanical issues and one lost a wheel one a speed section. Five major accidents with one of the German cars catching fire on a speed stage. This is the team that last year fought with each other on the side of the road and smoked constantly. We have a feeling that the fire was a result of trying to smoke during a race. While being escorted by a Federale into town, he took a wrong turn and asked us to reverse our car back to the missed corner, unfortunately, we did not see the drainage ditch and reversed into it. We hit our tailpipe while dropping into the ditch which damaged our exhaust manifold. John has attempted to re-weld it twice but we are still having problems, hopefully it will hold. Currently with the exhaust leaks, our Porsche sounds like a NASCAR race car which makes us sound a little faster. It really surprises the guys with the V-8s to hear us approaching and then realize that it is a four cylinder.

Day 3 To Queretaro: We placed second but remained on the first page of the overall cars. We got lost but we were able to correct quickly without losing too much time or receive a penalty.

Day 4 To Morelia: We placed second. Very tough day, as I mentioned, things can change quickly in this race. This race is really not decided until the last day and teams have a shot to either win or lose up until the very end. We started the day with a carburetor problem that would not allow our engine to drop below 4,000 RPMs, which makes it tough to stop the car. We got lost coming out of the city with five cars trying to follow us. Following other cars during transit sections on the way to speed sections (races) is always risky. We make it a rule only to follow Mexicans and typically Mexicans in Porsches. This time, following us did not help our competitors. While lost, I drove into a one way tunnel the wrong way and scared a couple of drivers going through the tunnel to death. Driving in Mexico is difficult but add the time pressure, the confusion of being lost while having a helmet on and it becomes a mess. We were able to get Rick to jump in a taxi that led us to our first race of the day. However when Rick jumped out our car to stop a cab, the timing chip (calculates our transit and speed sections) fell out of the car. Although we were able to call ahead and have John Benton (our crew chief) obtain a new timing chip, our times were confused by the officials and I think they are still not correct for the day. Although the morning was disaster, John met us during the service break to fix the carburetor problem and we were issued a new timing chip (after paying a $200 fine but at least it was not a time penalty). During the afternoon the speed sections were tight high speed corners on mountain roads which were perfect for a Porsche and we made up significant time.

My Dad arrived into town to travel with the crew through the end of the race. My Dad proved to be good luck in 2009 after saving us by transporting the new windshield to Hualtulco in a surfboard box.

Day 5 - To Guadalajara. We won our class and the main competitor in our class, the Volkswagen with the large engine broke down. Although the day went well, it was termed "the day of one thousand topes". We hit a tope doing 45 mph, thankfully it missed our engine case. So far at least three cars having been taken out of the race due to topes.

Great town and third largest in the country. This is the largest city that we will visit this year which is great after the disasters of Mexico City last year. The police escort picked us up 30 kilometers before the city and blocked the freeway during rush hour to bring us into downtown. I always miss racing in Mexico on days that I am sitting on traffic on the 405. Police escorts through the middle of a major city are pretty cool. The finishing arch was at a very modern shopping mall and it was nice to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Although all the other races end in the plazas of great colonial cities with thousands of people cheering us, it was nice to have a mellow finish. The food has been great throughout Mexico but it was nice to get an Americano meal.

Today we start at 9 AM which is amazing since we have been starting a 7 AM which means getting up at 4 AM. The La Carrera schedule is tough. Based on the nightly driver's meetings that are scheduled at 8 PM that typically start at 10 or 11 PM (welcome to Mexican racing) and driving 10 hours a day, it makes for a very short night. Last year I slept for two days after returning home.

Although we have complaints about how the race in run and the delayed schedules, there is no place in the world that has a race like the La Carrera. Where else could we race 2,000 miles at high speeds across a country while under police and army protection and escort, all at the same time being treated like rock stars. Viva Mexico!

Off to Aguascalientes today. Five days down and two to go!

See you soon,


Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Re: Mexican Cliff Diving - Day 6 - La Carrera Panamericana

Regardless of the rumors we have heard that are on some of the racing blogs, we did not go over a 400 foot cliff and I did not sell Rick to drug cartels in order to bribe myself back into race after our crash. However the cliff rumor is partially true (but selling Rick to the cartel would have also made sense).

Day 5 leaving Guadalajara went smoothly, in fact a picture of our car crossing the finish line the previous day was on the cover of the local paper, El Informador. The car was running well and the engine had been tuned for leaving the higher elevations. During our first race of the day, we entered a series of corners and by the time we reach the final corner, that was supposed to lead to a straight away, the log book failed to mention that the straight away had a step downhill grade. Once in the corner, I realized that we had too much speed to make the corner and had a choice to put the car into the side of the mountain or lift slightly on the accelerator. I should have decided to put the car into the mountain. Knowing that a Porsche will spin if acceleration is dropped in a downhill corner, I tried to take it very easy. It didn’t work and resulted in a spin. It actually was a smooth spin and we finally rested backwards looking at the road. I knew that we went into a ditch and would need to be towed since the nose of the car was facing up at nearly a 45 degree angle. I turned off the power to the car, we took off our safety gear and started to climb out but as soon as I took my foot off of the brake, I started to roll backwards. Rick got out and cautioned me not to move since he nearly rolled down the top of the hill leading to a 400 foot drop. The good news was that it was a dangerous curve so 10 to 12 reporters ran to the car (they hang out after all the tough corners to catch crashes and they must have been happy about our spin). Half of the reporters put down their cameras and held the front of the car to stabilize us while the others continued to take photos (you have to love the press). Rick ran up to the corner to wave off the 50 race cars we knew would be passing the corner within the next twenty minutes. If another car crashed on the corner, they would surely hit us and force us down the mountain.

Initially I had to negotiate with the reporters not to rip me out of the car. I had to argue with them for a couple of minutes to leave me in the car. They saw blood on my face caused by a nose bleed I had just prior to the race and they thought that I had hit my head and that I was in either in shock or delirious. I was able to convince them after threatening their lives that I was OK and that if I removed my foot from the pedal, the car would go down the mountain. I told them that it was not about losing the car but I did not think that I would have enough time to get out once I released the brake. Also, I did not think that the five reporters could hold the car. I also knew that if we had a tow vehicle, they would be able to pull us out. I agreed to put on my safety gear and the reporters removed their belts and tied them in a chain and around my arm just in case they needed to pull me out.

I waited for twenty minutes for the remaining race cars to pass during which time I was interviewed by two European news crews (pretty ironic) all while needing to continue to press on the brakes. They finally brought up a Federale cruiser and connected the tow rope but as he was trying to pull us, he was positioned on the soft shoulder and was starting to slide backwards. The Federale probably would have pushed us both down the hill if Rick did not stop them. For those of you who know Rick, he does not worry about too much but the look on his face and when he told me to get ready to jump, I became concerned for the first time. The chase ambulance/medical crew in a Tahoe arrived and they pull us up. The Federale asked me to start the car to see if I could follow him down to the bottom of the speed section. I was amazed but the car started and we followed. As we were driving down, I was able to look at where we had been positioned and I finally comprehended the full scope of the situation. Since I never was out of the car and from my angle, I was not able see the size of the drop.

The car drove fine on the road and when we arrived at the end of the section, the time keeper was just packing up, we turned in our time card and they waved us on. The Federale gave us a “thumbs up” and we were off.

As we approached the next race, the 50 cars that passed us were shocked. We heard a lot of “Ricky Bobby” and “Shake and Bake” – We picked up the nickname “Ricky Bobby” in last year’s race. All were happy to see us and more amazed that the car was still running. On of the time keepers poured a bottle of tequila on the hood of the car for good luck.

John, Ian and my Dad were able to meet us at the service stop for lunch. Since we were now one of the last cars in the race, they had to hear all the stories as the other teams came into town. They were all happy to see us in one piece especially based on the various stories that they had heard. My Dad asked me to start looking for a new hobby such as golf. Surprisingly, after checking the car, John was able to find very little damage from our off road excursion.

We ran well the rest of the day but we received a 40 minute time on the section due to our rest break on the side of the mountain and a penalty for running late to the next race. The section should have taken around 10 minutes.

At the driver’s meeting and awards ceremony, the president of the race gave me the opportunity to speak to all the drivers and crews about the accident and to also thank the reporters, Federales and medical crew. Due to the number of reporters, they had put together to slide show of the accident.

As I mentioned in my previous message, in a 2,000 mile race, your luck can change at any time. Although we significantly dropped in position, we are obviously were very happy to be off the side of the mountain.


Day 7 & Final La Carrera Panamericana Results

Aguascalientes to Zacatecas

Day 7 & Final La Carrera Panamericana Results

Due to our spin on Day 6, we knew that we had to drive hard to make up time. At this point there were only three cars left in our class since the other five had either crashed or left the race for mechanical issues. At the beginning of the day we were ranked last due to the 40 minute time on the section where we had the spin. We successfully argued that the section where we crashed should be handled as missed section in the rule book as opposed to the actual time that we had to wait to re-enter the race course. Based on the rules, we hurt ourselves by finishing the section and turning in our time card. The officials gave us the slowest time of our class plus a 10% penalty which dropped our time from 40 minutes down to 13 minutes for the section. It still hurt us but much better than 40 minutes.

Day 7 went smooth and we did not have the issues that we experienced in Day 7 of 2009. We kept the shiny side up and stayed on the road.

We arrived into Zacatecas on time and we were met by my Dad and our crew (John and Ian Benton). The streets were packed with people watching the race. It took us 30 minutes after receiving our time to drive through the arch. Zacatecas is a colonial city with a section with cobble stone roads so it was a great place to end the race.

The officials greeted our car and asked us to drive to the city’s Nissan dealer to have our car inspected. This year we knew that it was a good sign since they “tech” the first and second car of each class. Our “tech” took an hour and we thankfully did not need to take apart the engine. Some of the other teams had to remove the engine heads and other parts to take measurements.

The day ended at the awards ceremony that did not start until 11:30 PM and went to 1:30 AM. Rick and I came in first place for the day and also first place for the entire race in our class beating the VW and the Porsche 912. During the race, we lost over 30 cars and five in our class. I think we were only one of the 25 cars that completed every section of the race out of the starting group of around 120. Based on the overall race, it was better that we completed the speed section where we had the spin and continued to race.

We leave this afternoon and hopefully will be back to LAX by 9 PM tonight.


Team Ricky-Bobby

“Shake & Bake”