Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July 28, 2009



The third annual Carrera Fiesta and Corral at the Monterey Historic races is schedule for Saturday, August 15. The deadline for purchasing a ticket for the event is August 10. The tickets are $40, which includes a contribution of $5 for Lupita Hernandez, the Mexican nurse who lost her legs in a Pan Am racing accident in 2003. At the door, the tickets will be $50, including the $5 contribution.

The fiesta will be at Tarpy’s Road House Restaurant on the highway (#68) from Monterey to the racetrack at Laguna Seca and Salinas. Tarpy's is set back a little from the highway in an oak grove at 2999 Monterey Salinas Highway. It is just west of the junction of #68 with Canyon del Rey. Telephone 831-647-1444.

Our hosts again are Bill Hemmer and Adriana Robles, residents of Monterey, who have participated in two Pan Am races. Bill may be reached at

Pan Am cars, including a Porsche that competed in the original race in 1953, will be on display. Attractions include a wine tasting and video presentations.

You may purchase your tickets by or credit card.


Eduardo Leon, president of the organizing committee of the Pan Am, announced that ninety-eight competitors have signed up for the event and that it is virtually closed to new entries. These results are something of a pleasant surprise in this period of economic depression, but welcome news for Mr. Leon, his family, and Mexico.

At this point, there are only two open slots in the event, which will start at the Pacific resort area of Huatulco on October 23 and end in Nuevo Laredo on October 29.


Chacho Medina, the organizer of the Chihuahua Express, has announced that the dates for the race next year will be March 19-21, 2010.

The entry fee, if paid by August 30, will be $1800. After that it goes to $2000. This fee covers around 1000 miles of racing, including about 325 miles of top speed stages, during the three days. Hotel accommodations are extra.

For more information contact or

The Express is open to cars of all ages. A roll cage is required for competition, but a Tour and T/D rally are also offered for the less adventuresome, at a much lower subscription fee.

The Express is also a part of the International Series of the Silver State Classic Challenge.


The Coyote Convoy is the safe, fun way to travel into Mexico and down to the start of the race in Huatulco, on the shores of the Pacific.

The convoy will gather in Laredo, Texas on Friday, October 16 at the Residence Inn Del Mar and cross into Mexico early Saturday, October 17.

After the 540 mile drive to San Miguel de Allende, the pristine colonial city made famous by Condé Nast magazine, the convoy will rest for two nights, while enjoying this famous site. Our Carrera cars will be on display in the main square of town on Sunday 10-3.

On Monday, October 19, the convoy will head down to the city of Oaxaca, where it will stop for the night. It will arrive in Huatulco the following day, Tuesday, October 20. The race begins on Friday, October 23.

The convoy is open to competitors, friends, and spectators. There is no charge to accompany the caravan. Hotel arrangements are available through the North American Coordinator.


Satisfaction eluded Doug Mockett on Pikes Peak this year when he was unable to defend his title as the fastest vintage car up this famous mountain. Doug and his accomplished co-piloto Angélica Fuentes were leading 2.1 seconds in their ’54 “Olds” at the first split, but lost time in the middle of the course. They made up some time in the final stage to end only 1.60 seconds (14:16) behind a Ford Falcon Sprint driven by Keith Davidson, a local. Doug noted that his car was losing grip in the hard granite gravel at the higher elevations.

Jon Lecarner and Michael Sharp finished in fourth in their red Falcon with a respectable time of 15:26. Chris Salyer and Wiley Carlile in their ’53 Corvette posted a 15:29 for fifth. Frank McKinnon and Dean Smith cruised his Dean’s DeSoto at 18:32, while Doug Allen and Chip Johns had some hard luck in their cars and were both listed as DNF. Spectators trying to cross the road forced Doug off the road into the trees, causing only minor damage to his Mustang, while Chip reportedly bent his suspension on some curbing.

Other Carrera vets included Charles Breed and Ed Gaven in the Exhibition Class. Charles went up the mountain in his winged Lucra-Lister powered by a Corvette 427 in only 14:53, while Ed coaxed his Factory Five Cobra up the hill in 15:49.

The fastest trip was again recorded by Nobuhiro Tajima in 10:15 in a double winged Suzuki with 1100 HP, while Marcos Gronholom was clocked in 11:28 is his 800 HP Ford Festiva rally car.

Click on to see a great video of Gronholom’s run. (Just another day in the office for these guys!)

For an excellent collection of Pikes Peak photos, go to


Being a spectator at the Pan Am is difficult because, after the racecars go by you one time, you become trapped behind the race. This is especially true in the more remote areas of the country, where there is only one highway, which is closed for the race. In the more populated areas, it is often possible to get ahead of the race again using the toll roads, if you have an experienced driver.

Sign up for the Pan Am Tour with Rosa María Mondragón, the former P.R. director for the event. She will get you close to the action. Rosa Maria will be greeting the Coyote Convoy in San Miguel de Allende and will follow the race back from Huatulco.

Her service is highly recommended for photographers and others who want to be able to capture the action close-up. The cost for the entire week of the event will be $1350 USD. You will also need to make hotel reservations at

Contact Rosa Maria directly at She will provide something of an adventure! BTW, she is a licensed rally driver and has competed in two Pan Am races as a navigator.


Check the U.S. web site for cars for sale. Also the official site in Mexico.

I have experienced co-drivers ready to go, and one opportunity to share the driving.

Mustang-Falcon builder Todd Landon in Minnesota also has cars that are ready to be leased for this year’s event or the Chihuahua Express – for full competition or for Exhibition.

Viva la Carrera Panamericana, the Mexican Road Race.