Sunday, May 10, 2009

Carrera News -- Cinco de Mayo Edition

MAY 2005




Is the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb on your bucket list? Do not wait. Join us this year. Only $800. That’s cheap--about half of the regular (pro) entry fee. Just about any Carrera car or vintage racecar with a full cage is eligible. Vintage entries are filling up and may be gone soon. Doug Mockett and Angelic Fuentes will be back to defend their championship on July 19. We will practice on the mountain three mornings, before the main event. Contact Tony Martins if you are interested.


Entries in La Carrera Panamericana XXII seem to be holding up against the swine flu and other problems, like the friction along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The flu scare seems to be fading fast, and should be only a faint memory by October. We should have around 40 entries from Canada and the U.S. this year.

The problems along the border continue to be bothersome, however, but the presence of several thousand Mexican soldiers and federal police in the border towns has reduced the violence dramatically. Last month, participants in the Chihuahua Express saw no signs of violence along the border or in the city of Chihuahua. Life seemed pretty normal.

The U.S. has also agreed to do more to stop the flow of guns and drug money into Mexico. The effort to legalize marijuana, which is picking up steam in California, would put a big dent in the cartels’ income and produce big bucks for the state treasury, says one state legislator.

A diplomatic flap between the U.S. and Mexico caused when the U.S. government stopped Mexican long-haul trucks from entering the country did cause a problem at the border for one of our trucks hauling cars to Chihuahua. Again, this problem should be resolved by October.


On June 1, the entry fee for the Pan Am jumps another $500 USD to $6500. Please send in your checks by May 31. If you sent in a deposit of $500, the balance due before June 1 is $5,500. Make checks payable to “La Carrera USA” and mail to address under contact info below.


Huatulco offers a much more relaxed atmosphere than Cancun, Acapulco, Cabo, and Puerto Vallarta. It’s a beautiful resort area along the Pacific Ocean. There is no city of Huatulco, just a string of bays, lagoons, and estuaries with low-rise, modern hotels, and a few small towns composed mostly of vacation homes. The airport code is “HUX.”

The center of action for the start of the race in October will probably be the town of Santa Cruz. No information about specific hotels or their location has been released, of course, but it seems logical that the beach town of Santa Cruz is about the only place big enough to have a paddock for 75-80 racecars. (The original fishing village was “displaced” when the resort was first developed.)

Rooms in Huatulco may be booked through the Carrera Office in Mexico City for $150 per night. Premium hotels cost $300 per night (limited availability).

If you want an all-inclusive package deal, add $100 to the price of the regular hotel per night and $150 to the premium hotel’s cost. The package deal includes: three meals daily, box lunches, five different restaurants, juice and soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, minibar, snacks, no-power water sports, plus 24 room service to your room, poolside, and the beach. But the best part of the package is clearly the two “alfresco Jacuzzi pools.” Think any Corona girls will be there?

Email Monica Grossmann at to make your reservations.


In addition to starting in Huatulco, which was not on the original Carrera route, the event will visit Guadalajara this year, the first time since 1999. Guadalajara, the second largest city in the country, has a population of several million. Best to update your Garmin GPS software. It’s big city. Try Mexico Maps for the latest Garmin software. Email Mark Walker for info.

Guadalajara takes the place of Aguascalientes, which the race has visited every year since 1999, at least. Apparently the Chamber of Commerce in Guadalajara came up with more incentives this year than Aguascalientes. Guadalajara was not on the route of the original Carrera either, but it is an important city. Unfortunately, the detour will add several extra hours of transit time to the schedule.


Need a Carrera patch for your hat or jacket? How about a Coyote Convoy shirt? I have both for sale for $10.00. Add $3.00 S&H for a shirt. All net proceeds go to the Mexican nurse, Lupita Hernandez who lost both legs at the hip in a Carrera accident in 2003. We send her a small check every six weeks.

You may advertise here for drivers, co-drivers, and service crew at no charge. You may ALSO advertise your car, truck, or services for sale/rent here and on the web site for $30; $45 with photo. Send the info and photo to Laura Cox at with a check to be posted on the web site. Most of the cars posted on the web site are sold. I also broker cars for a very modest fee.

’54 Studebaker. For Sale or Rent - Overall winner of the 2008 La Carrera Panamericana. This Commander has been completely rebuilt following last year’s win. The car is now faster and more dependable than it was in 2008. If you are serious about winning overall in 2009, you need to be driving this car. Complete spares package and trailer included in the $125,000 sale price. Rental option would in the form of a sale/service/buyback. Please call or email Bill Beilharz for more information. or call (001) 602.320.5173. Phoenix, Arizona

’64 Chevy Nova -- $5900/BO. V8 post coupe, four-speed Muncie, GM front disc brakes, headers, newer exhaust, and seats. Rust free, with new steel floors on sub-frame connectors. Interior and exterior stripped, ready for race preparation. Want it prepared? Pick your color, competition level, and engine power—from 300 to 400+ HP. Cost? Around $18,000-$28,000+ depending on the level of preparation. Guaranteed buy-back program. Ten years of experience building these lightweight cars. Novas were the Historic “C” Champs in 2001 and 2002. Guaranteed entry in 2009 or 2010. At 2800 pounds, it can run a four-barrel Holley. Extra safe roll cage and subfloor protection.. Shipping can be arranged, along with support during the race, and even rally driving instruction. We had ten years’ experience building these cars. Contact Gerie Bledsoe at 650-726-9890.

Lucky Taco -- needs another co-driver/partner for 2009. It’s a ’54 Oldsmobile that runs in Original Pan Am. The three experienced partners need a fourth. Bridge anyone? Contact Clyde Morter if interested at

ISO Co-Piloto -- David Cooper. ’51 Chrysler NASCAR replica. This car won Original Pan AM a couple of years ago, and David is a serious competitor, with top flight equipment. Several other guys, like Lucha Libre Racing’s Michael Emery, are looking for co-drivers, as well.

Enrique Cortes will provide mechanical service while you are in Mexico. Check his video on MyTube. Enrique lived in the US several years and has two support trucks. He and his crew will wrench and weld all night for you.


New York to Miami, three days in August 2009, to benefit the Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Call Dan at 716.480.0703 or visit


Photographer Sam Gezari is compiling two books on last year’s Pan Am that will be published next month. To obtain more info on the books, call 213.880.4001 or go to


Like all forms of motor sports, the Pan Am is extremely dangerous. Obviously, it is less dangerous at moderate speeds. It can also lead to a lifetime of addiction to road racing in Mexico.


If you change email addresses, please let CARRERA NEWS know. Once you register for the race, you will also receive CARRERA DRIVER, which contain much more detailed information about the race and how to prepare your car.

Feel free to send CARRERA NEWS to your friends and racing buddies. Encourage them to sign up. This newsletter will be posted on the web site as a blog.