Friday, November 20, 2009

Ready for the Chihuahua Express?

The Chihuahua Express--now in it fourth year--is a condensed version of La Carrera Panamericana, with a few advantages:

1. modern, classic, vintage, and Panamericana cars are featured

2. cars without roll cages are welcome

3. there's a Rally Master school to teach rookies how to rally properly

The Chihuahua Express was designed to be:

1. a weekend event

2. close to the USA

3. in the same hotel each night

4. relatively inexpensive

5. staged on good paved roads

6. surrounded by beautiful scenery

7. remembered for large amounts of challenging speed stages

The Express comprises nearly 1000 miles of driving, including about 325 miles of speed stages, mostly in the mountains around Chihuahua, which is only 145 miles from Texas. By contrast the Panamericana offers around 350 miles of speed stages over seven days and 2000 miles or more.

Until January 1, the Express entry fee is $2000, when it goes up to $2200. This does not include the hotel rooms. Rooms at the luxury HQ hotel are $165 per night (tax included), while rooms in nearby "racer" hotels go for as little as $55.

Where else in the civilized world can you race on closed public roads for three days under the protection of the Federal Police?

To race at full speed, you will need a car with a six-point roll cage and all the usual racing gear. All cars are subject to a safety and technical inspection.

If you do not have a roll cage, you may participate in bracket competition (limited speed), or a time/distance rally. You may also select the Express Tour and optional Rally Master program. Only helmets are required. The entry fee for the Tour and the Rally Master program is only $900. The cars in the Tour will run the same course as the racecars.

The Express visits the famous Copper Canyon of Northwest Mexico, a canyon that rivals the Grand Canyon in Arizona for beauty. You will have lunch on the northern rim of the canyon, so you'll have a good view.

Race or drive it as part of the Express Tour, it is beautiful country. Join us in El Paso, Texas on March 16 for the trip down to Chihuahua City in the Express Convoy. If you are interested, please let me know and I will send you a detailed FAQ. 650-726-9890.

Check out for a detailed map and additional information.