Do It All Over Again!

Had a great conversation with a co-worker today about La Carrera Panamericana.

And found a few new photos: Flickr.com_La_Carrera_Panamericana_2013



Now, I ask you…,

How do you spin a glorious time and experience into 15 minutes or less?

It’s just not doable.

Quinta Real Zacatecas

ZacatecasSo, we talk about the history of Mexico and the beauty of the interior of Mexico. I explain, with wide eyes, the entrance to the oldest bull ring in North America found in Zacatecas and how it has become this fabulous boutique hotel.

Then, there’s the intricate architecture found on the cathedrals in the towns along the race route, the aqueduct in Morelia, and how, it’s a shame, that many US citizens only know Mexico by its resorts and border towns.

What is great to see as the 2013 La Carrera Panamericana photos get sorted out on the internet, and more make their appearance every day, is the human interest aspect of the race.

How many of the photographers, service crew, fans, support staff, and maybe a few of the racers themselves will return to their countries of origin that much more enriched from their experience; each dealing with their PCSD (Post Carrera Stress Disorder), in his or her own way.

Waiting until next year to fulfill a dream, or… just do it all over again!

LCP Co-piloto Mantra

The mantra for the next week:GERIE BLEDSOE GTO 2011

“’A’ time plus your ‘section time’ equals your ‘Z’ (or ‘CH’) time.”

Gerie Bledsoe (U.S. coordinator for La Carrerra Panamericana and the Chihuahua Express) says “Add 15 seconds to your CH time to get the perfect time to enter your control zone.”

It’s Dia Uno!


Co-pilot Instructions!
Day 1, Speed Stage 1



End of Speed Stage 1
Turn in Time Card to Officials
Get it Back and Transit to the Next Stage! 🙂



What’s the Draw?

Many feel they are meant to win. Or, they are sponsored to win. They don’t put in all this time, effort, or money to take a back seat. The desire is to win! It’s the premiere motivating factor.

Gerie’s ’64 Nova and Mustang on oval
Courtesy Ranachilanga Photography

Others arrive for the love of a historic road race, to take a chance, to meet with racing enthusiasts the world over, to duke it out with the elements, to refresh friendships, to compete with the best, to make contacts for business and pleasure, to see the entire breadth of an incredible country and the warmth of its people, to spend horrendous amounts of money in hopes of keeping their historic race car on the road and finishing La Carrera Panamericana.

It is an adventure, plain and simple.

You’ve got to understand that and take the good with the bad and make the best of what is dealt you.

It takes tenacity, resourcefulness, good will, thoughtful process, a tremendous amount of energy, skill, and the acceptance of very little sleep.

2011 Gregory's Orig PanAm Courtesy Ranachilanga

2011 Gregory’s Orig PanAm
Courtesy Ranachilanga Photography

Is it worth it?

You decide for yourself.

While the race teams ….,

get ready to roll!

Where Do They Come From?


Pierre de Thoisy 2007
Tehuacan_Puebla Stage 2

Competitors arrive from all over the world relishing the opportunity to race in La Carrera Panamericana.

In this 26th Anniversary of La Carrera Panamericana, teams represent  Mexico, U.S.A., Canada, France, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and Australia. Some crews pack up their vintage car and drive it over 6,000 miles to participate in the hopes that they make the return trip. Others ship their car from Europe or Australia and arrive with bags in the trunk ready to drive the line each day, and succeed to a podium finish.

People come to challenge themselves, to take pleasure in the moment, and to drive really, really, fast.


Stig Blomquist 2008
Tuxtla-Gutierrez to Oaxaca Stage 1

This year the race route extends from its southern commencement point in the port city of Veracruz to its terminus in Zacatecas. It’s a seven-day, 3,093 kilometers endurance test of vintage race cars, their drivers and co-drivers, and their crew. It is not for the faint of heart, but serious business with a twist.

Although, a purse and trophy did exist in the 1950 to 1954 races, there are no longer monetary gains to be made; only bragging rights. And, those rights have fallen to a select few over the years.

(Results courtesy of Wikipedia)

La Carrera Panamericana Overall Winners: 1950 to 1954

Year Winning Driver Entrant Car Time
1950 Hershel McGriffRay Elliot Roy Sundstrom (U.S.A.) Olds 88 27:34:25
1951 Piero Taruffi
Luigi Chinetti
Centro Deportivo Italiano Ferrari 212 21:57:52
1952 Karl Kling
Hans Klenk
Daimler-Benz AG (Germany) Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 18:51:19
1953 Juan Manual Fangio
Gino Bronzoni
Scuderia Lancia (Italy) Lancia D24 Pinin Farina 18:11:00
1954 Umberto Maglioli Erwin Goldschmidt Ferrari 375 Plus Pinin Farina 17:40:26

La Carrera Panamericana Overall Winners: 1988 to 2012

Year Piloto Co-piloto Country Auto
1988 Eduardo Morales Gael Rodriguez Mexico Ford
1989 Guillermo Rojas Alberto Rojas, Jr Mexico Mercury
1990 Alain de Cadenet Gordon Currie UK Jaguar
1991 John Ward Shirley Ward U.S.A. Kurtis
1992 Peter Frank Mark Williams U.S.A. Mercury
1993 Carlos Anaya Eduardo Rodriguez Mexico Studebaker
1994 Carlos Anaya Eduardo Rodriguez Mexico Studebaker
1995 Kevin Ward Kimberlee Augustine U.S.A. Studebaker
1996 Carlos Anaya Eduardo Rodriguez Mexico Studebaker
1997 Pierre de Thoisy Philippe Lemoine France Studebaker
1998 Pierre de Thoisy Jean-Pierre Gontier France Studebaker
1999 Pierre de Thoisy Jacques Tropenat France Studebaker
2000 Pierre de Thoisy Jacques Tropenat France Studebaker
2001 Pierre de Thoisy Carlos Macaya France/Costa Rica Studebaker
2002 Dave Mockett Alan Baillie U.S.A./UK Oldsmobile
2003 Pierre de Thoisy Pierr Schockaert France/Germany Studebaker
2004 Juan Carlos Sarmiento Raúl Villareal Mexico Studebaker
2005 Juan Carlos Sarmiento Raúl Villareal Mexico Studebaker
2006 Gabriel Pérez Angelica Fuentes Mexico Ford
2007 Pierre de Thoisy Frédéric Stoesser France Studebaker
2008 Bill Beilharz Jorge Ceballos U.S.A./Mexico Studebaker
2009 Stig Blomquist Ana Goñi Boracco Sweden/Venezuela Studebaker
2010 Harri Rovanperä Jouni Närhi Finland Studebaker
2011 Richard Trivino Marco Hernández Mexico Studebaker
2012 Gabriel Pérez Ignacio Rodríguez Mexico Studebaker

The race is run in a pro-rally format. This year the transit sections total 2,518 km and speed sections 576 km. Twenty Mexican Federales’ cars and their hand-picked drivers close off the roads so the special speed stages, which occur throughout the day, can be run safely and, at times, without incidence. Transit sections between the speed stages may require drive times up to 2 hours. The longest transit section is usually saved for the final day. This is where nerves fray and head gaskets blow.