Where Do They Come From?

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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.

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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
2013

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.

Race Cars are Starting to Rumble

And, blogs are starting to roll…,

www.blogranachilanga.tk    Rene has been hard at work in the past few months getting plans together to run the race route, photographing and documenting all the wonderful places and the fabulous times this historical race can bring. Definitely, another blog you want to have in your repertoire and bookmark. You can also follow him on Twitter (Rene Ortega@Ranachilanga) and FaceBook.

www.martinstaxi.com    Perusing through the list of participants last night, it was great to see El Taxi Perdido racing with a host of other Alfa’s in the Histόrica A+ class. They are a well-loved team and have a growing fan base within the US and Mexico. Follow along in their travels and adventures through El Taxi Perdido’s Blog posts. Be sure to bookmark them and check back often.

http://www.applefarmerracing.com/   Apple Farmer Racing is one of my two favorite race cars and teams from the NW! Running a beautiful red apple ’53 Studebaker in Turismo de Producciόn this year, I have no doubt crew mate Steve Berry plans to spin a good yarn or two and provide beautiful photos of his team’s travails along the way.

http://www.funksterwtf.blogspot.com/   Kristin’s indomitable spirit flows through her writing and keeps us apprised of the “never a routine day” in La Carrera Panamericana. She’ll be part and parcel to Team #11’s quest for the podium in the tough running Turismo de Producciόn class.

http://wheeled-and-rolling.blogspot.com/   Jorge’s got a pension and passion for rally racing and it shows in his blogs. No doubt he’ll be keeping us well-informed about this year’s La Carrera Panamericana. Bookmark his blog or run an RSS feed so you don’t miss out!

http://www.datsunpanamericana.blogspot.com/  A team that runs close to my heart in their love for all things Datsun. Francisco aptly handles a Datsun 510 in the Histόrica A + class. It’ll be fierce competition with a number of Alfa’s, Porsche’s and one lone Volvo. Keep tabs on this blog to keep your competitive juices flowing!

http://www.lscheller.blogspot.com/  The great High Speed Bull Shippers are ready for another round in La Carrera Panamericana. Lauren performs a tremendous and skillful job, being co-piloto for her Dad during the day in their Original PanAm class Ford Victoria, and super adept blogger at night. It is no small feat to put in those hours. Follow along as she keeps us informed about her racing escapades through great content and photographs.

http://panamrace.blogspot.com/ The Silver Fox has the honor of being piloted by Gerie Bledsoe with his exceptional co-piloto El Fer. They make for one fantastic team! A beautiful silver Studebaker is their ride of choice through this year’s La Carrera Panamericana. It places them squarely in the Turismo de Producciόn class which has, by far, the most variety of historic cars in this year’s race. Studebaker, Jaguar, Volvo, Ford and JL Holden are all represented well.