Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rally Mexico Bulletin


You have until the end of this month (August) to take advantage of the discounted $1800 registration fee for the Chihuahua Express, March 19-21, 2010. Just hit the reply button to obtain an entry form and FAQ about this great event.

Express organizer Chacho Medina invites all his friends north of the border to return for the fourth year of this classic event.

The Express offers three days of racing over 1,000 miles, with about 325 miles of top speed stages. Just about any car -- year or model -- is eligible. Carrera cars run in their own classes, while modern cars are placed in appropriate classes based on engine size.

The event was just about as perfect as it could be last spring. The weather was spectacular. The roads were in great shape. The event organization was strong, and the electronic timing system worked well. Mr. Medina is open to suggestions to make the event even better, and he pledges to refund the entry of any competitor whose car is seriously damaged in the Pan Am race this October. Contact him at

Chihuahua City is only 145 miles from Presidio, Texas, and 220 from Santa Teresa, New Mexico. And the route also includes racing into the famous Copper Canyon.


More than forty-five tickets have been sold for the La Carrera Fiesta and Corral at Tarpy's Road House Restaurant in Monterey on Saturday, August 15, 2:30-6:30. Tickets will be sold at the door for $45, plus a $5 donation to our favorite worthy cause, Lupita.

A wide range of Carrera cars will be on display in the corral, including a 356 Porsche that participated in the original Carrera in 1953.

Tarpy's is located at 2999 Salinas-Monterey Highway #68 -- the road from Monterey to Laguna Seca.

All proceeds go to support Lupita Hernandez, the Mexican nurse who lost both legs as the result of a crash in 2004. If you cannot attend the Fiesta, you may make a contribution via Just send your contribution ($10-100+) to All contributions will be proudly acknowledged.


Making plans to attend La Carrera Panamericana in October and worried about staying in touch with your family back home? Here's a link to a handy guide to the use of a cell phone in Mexico. It's provided by our preferred insurance company Bajabound.


All vehicles crossing into Mexico from the U.S. and Canada should be covered by Mexican car insurance. U.S. insurance is not valid in Mexico.

Mexican car insurance works just like U.S. insurance. You may choose among levels of liability coverage, as well as collision and comprehensive coverage. The insurance is sold by the day, week, month, or six-month period.

The easiest way to buy insurance on your tow vehicle and racecar is to go to, and select from one of four or five insurance companies and level of coverage. All you need is the VIN and credit card. You may also call them for help at 1.888.552.2252.

Actually, most of these Mexican companies are owned by U.S. enterprises. Bajabound, located in San Diego, is one of the only companies that sells car insurance online for cars made before 1981.

Insurance on your tow or service vehicle is required by La Carrera Panamericana. Coverage on your racecar is not required, but recommended. The Mexican car insurance policy does NOT cover anyone while racing, but only when the car is being driven before or after the event, or by someone other than the registered driver and co-driver. When racing the car is covered by the event's liability insurance.


The latest software for Garmin GPS units is available from Mexico Maps of Santa Barbara, CA. Contact Mark Walker at 805-687-1011 or email Mark will guarantee that you will receive the latest update of this software. Other retailers cannot make this guarantee because the software is updated several times a year, and the GPS units offered by the larger companies are likely to have an older version installed.

Garmin GPS software is not particularly useful when you are racing in the speed stages, but it can be extremely useful when trying to find your way through Mexico City or Guadalajara. Each racecar and service truck should be so equipped. Garmin GPS units -- the more basic models -- cost around $200, and you can obtain the maps for Mexico on a SD memory card, which you simply slip into the Garmin.


If you or a friend want to observe the Pan Am this year, especially if you want to take action photos of the racing, you should contact Rosa Maria Mondragon at Rosa Maria, a rally driver and former PR director of the event, is offering a private tour of the route. The cost is $1350 for the week of the race -- in a car. Hotel accommodations are extra. This too will be an adventure!


At this point there are about ninety paid entries for the Carrera, according to President Eduardo "Lalo" Leon. But another fifteen or more potential competitors have made a deposit or otherwise made a commitment to participate. If you are in either of these categories, you should finish the application process, or you may find the event closed.

There are only 72 days to go before the race starts on Oct. 23 in Huatulco, Mexico. Ready yet?

Gerie Bledsoe