Monday, April 27, 2009

CARRERA NEWS -- Easter Edition

Tom Silver, Chihuahua Express, 2007

APRIL 2009

Contents -- The Bunny Day Edition



The Silver State Classic--now in its 22d year--will run May 14-17 from Las Vegas to Ely, Nevada and back. It’s a fun filled three days for car lovers and folks who like to drive fast on an open road. Try it; you’ll like it!

This race has a spot for just about any car that will pass a safety inspection. In fact, the car does not need a roll cage or any special safety equipment to run the course at “moderate” speeds (less than 125 MPH). If you want to run over 200 mph in the Unlimited Class, the safety requirements are stiff.

Competitors will enter one of five classifications. In four of these classifications, excluding the Unlimited Class, they will have a target speed, a minimum speed, and a maximum speed. The object is to come as close to the target (average speed) as possible, without violating the min or max speeds. Easy? Try 125 MPH for 92 miles across the desert!

There are a variety of other activities connected with the weekend, too. The Silver State should be on your bucket list, if you haven’t done it already.

You must have a valid driver’s license, be a member of SSCC ($40), and show proof of medical insurance to compete. Rookies are usually required to show they can handle a car at the Las Vegas track. If you plan to exceed speeds of 165 MPH, you’ll need to be examined by a doctor. (Thankfully, no certificate of sanity is required.) Navigators are optional, but must be registered, etc.

Basic competition fees start at $495 and go up to $780 for the Unlimited Class.

Go to or for entry forms and more info.

The Chairman of the SSC Board is Steve Waldman of Carrera and Chihuahua Express fame.


All Carrera-eligible cars are invited to enter the SVAR vintage race at Road America, Elkhart Lake (WI), May 15-17, 2009. The Carrera cars will have their own dedicated
run group. The weekend will include three practice sessions on Friday, a qualifying race on Saturday, and a feature race on Sunday. The entry fee is $475. The cars are also
eligible to participate in the longer enduro race. Entrants must hold a current racing license from a recognized racing association.

Check the web site at or call Carl Jensen, SVRA Competition Director at 561-379-7751. Carl raced in the Carrera last year with Clyde Morter, and promises a great weekend for Carreraistas. Road American is an excellent track for Carrera cars.


If you are interested in Pike’s Peak, please let me know. We will make arrangements to pit together in Manitou Springs.

Carrera cars will again be featured at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb,
July 19, 2009 with entries from the Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing Club.

Last year two Carrera cars, a ’54 “Olds” driven by Doug Mockett and graced by Angelica
Fuentes, and an Unlimited Class Subaru piloted by Kevin Jones, who won the Chihuahua Express, came home with trophies. Doug and Angie will return to defend their title.

The race is 12.4 miles up the mountain--from 9100’ to 14,300’ in elevation. There
are over 150 turns along the route. Eight or nine miles are paved; the rest is
exciting gravel. The competitors practice on the mountain three mornings before the main event. The views are breathtaking. You must be in the area from July 14 to July 19 for registration, tech, practice, and the event.

The entry fee is $800. Do not register on the PPIHC web site nor send your entry
directly to that organization; send it to RMVR. You can use the official entry form from PPIHC or get one at Make out your check to RMVR and send the check and the entry form to:

c/o Tony Martins
6387 South Hill Street
Littleton, CO 80120

Cars should be manufactured prior to 1972 and have run either the Pike’s Peak
before, the Carrera, or the Chihuahua Express. Other vintage racecars and replicas, anything with a log book that passes a tech inspection, may enter. A full roll cage is necessary.

The PPIHC is a professional event, with cash prizes. However, the vintage cars will not be running for cash, only glory, thus the reduced entry fee. Cars and drivers must be capable of minimum speeds “on the mountain” during the practice sessions. Best not end up as road kill at 14,000 feet!

In addition to the hill climb, RMVR is planning a big vintage car show in Manitou
Springs on Saturday July 18 before the race on Sunday.

Get that Carrera car out of the garage, shine it up, and head up to Manitou Springs (outside of Colorado Springs) next July to run or just be a spectator.

The schedule is:

July 14 – registration and tech
July 15-17 – practice on the mountain
July 18 – vintage car show and other activities (like rest)
July 19 – race to the clouds

An attractive PPIHC-RMVR brochure in .pdf format is available, if you hit “reply” and ask.


All Carreraistas are invited to the third annual Carrera Corral at the Monterey Historic Races, Saturday August 15, 2:00-6:00 PM at Tarpy’s Restaurant.


Fifty-six competitors have completed the registration process thus far La Carrera and another fifteen are expected to sign up by May 31, when the entry fees goes up another $500.

If the past is prologue to the future, there should be around 75 entries this year, with 50% coming from the U.S. and Canada. The economic slump is taking its toll, especially on new entries. So, there is room for you people still on the fence.


From the U.S. and Canada, the basic options are:

1. Tow your racecar down to Huatulco with an SUV or pickup.
2. Drive it down and back. Yes, some people do this!
3. Tow it to Laredo and drive it the rest of the way. (Truck and trailer stays there.)
4. Ship the car down on a hauler and fly into Huatulco.
5. Ship it to San Miguel de Allende, fly down, and drive it the rest of the way with the Coyote Convoy.

Duane Wilcoxon will tow your car down from Washington State and Northern California. Email him at

From Europe, competitors usually ship their car to Veracruz. And yes, some guys fly their cars into Mexico City and have them hauled to the start of the race.


All drivers and navigators—even those who do not touch the steering wheel—need a Mexican racing license. Contrary to what the Carrera rules say, just about anyone who has $195 USD can obtain the license, assuming they can pass a modest, on-site physical exam. It is not necessary to have a racing license from your country.

If you are considering the Carrera and do not have a racing license or sufficient experience, it is HIGHLY recommended that you attend a racing school of some kind, and get some serious seat time at the track. You might also consider going to some of the High Performance Diving Events provided around the country by NASA or car clubs.

Attached is a FMAD application for a license. Send this form with two photos of your face (smaller than passport size) to the address on the form. They will have your license ready in Huatulco. You may pay by check or cash ($195) in Huatulco (depends on the exchange rate).


The third annual Chihuahua Express, March 27-29, was a great event – the route was spectacular, as usual; the weather wonderful, and the race organization vastly improved. There were over forty cars entered, with about half from the USA and Canada. Not one car was lost because of a serious crash or fire. Several engines gave up the ghost, but that’s to be expected.

Importantly, there were absolutely no signs of the violence that tends to be over-reported in the U.S. media. The event’s police protection was more than adequate.

Gabriel Perez in a “new” ’54 Studebaker won the event by only 1:02, followed by Doug Mockett and Angelica Fuentes. Stig Blomquivst, a former World Rally Champion, had engine problems, but finished the event, rather than trhowing in the towel and going home. Mexican rally champ Ricardo Trivino and the exciting baby blue and white ’63 Nova called Durango Deuce II also lost engines. (Oh, to be mentioned in the same paragraph as true champions!)

The winners in the hotly contested Historic C/B class were: 11st: Chip and Taylor Fudge. 2nd: Wile and Alex Ostrop. 3rd: Guenter and Barbara Hernandez Sundag. (Two father-son pairs, and a married couple.)

The tentative dates next year are March 18-21. Put those dates on your calendar, and do not miss this exciting event next year. Brochures and DVDs are available.

**R.I.P. – TOM SILVER (Photo Above)

Our friend Tom Silver passed away last two weeks after a long battle with cancer. Tom, a true competitor, had competed in several Carreras back to 1998 and the Chihuahua Express over the past decade, sacrificing not a few cars along the way, including a dramatic rollover in the Express in 2007. He returned to Chihuahua in 2008, however, to win Historic C. A cortege of Carrera, Express, and Legend cars escorted Tom on his last trip.