Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Carreras News

October 2012

**Pan Am Entries

**Chihuahua Express, April 19-21, 2013

**Rally Patrio - A Report

**Coyote Convoy and Car Show


**Legal BS

**Contact Info

**Pan Am Entries

At last count there were 47 entries from Mexico, 30 from Europe, 30 from North America (U.S-Canada), and three or four from other countries. (Some of the national flags posted on the official web site are hard to identify.) This is the first time, at least in my fourteen years in the race, the European entries have equaled or exceeded entries from North America. Unfortunately, four or five gringos withdrew this year

Why the drop in U.S.-Canadian numbers? I assume it’s a combination of the bad news about the narco wars in Mexico—totally exaggerated by Fox News – and the economy. Europe does not get the same slant of the news, it seems. We also have very few rookies from north of the border, another bad sign for the future.

Of course, it is difficult to classify the origins of some entries, too. One car comes from the U.S. but the driver is a German national and his beautiful co-piloto is a Mexican national. They have homes both in Mexico and Texas. Move them to the European or Mexican column and North America falls behind Europe.

**Chihuahua Express, April 19-21, 2013

Entries and interest in the Chihuahua Express seem to up this year. The word is getting out that it’s a truly great event:

--more racing for the dollar (3 days, 1000 miles) Discount of $250.
--modern and classic cars with classes for Pan Am cars
--great roads and scenic country
--close to the U.S. (only 145 miles away)
--drivers meetings start on time – with daily results
--same hotel every night
--a race organizer who appreciates your business
If you are interested in running the event or just participating in the Express Tour (driving the same roads in your regular car), please ask me put you on the Express mailing list. I will also send you a three-page FAQ brochure.

Cost? $2250 USD entry free until November 1. Then it goes to $2400. Hotel accommodations are additional. Rooms at the HQ hotel, the luxury Soberano Hotel, are $165 per night pre-paid, tax included. The Express Tour is $1200, plus hotels. Training in stage-rally timing is provided. For more details, go to www.chihuahuaexpress.com.

**Rally Patrio

On September 22, my co-piloto, Fernando, and I participated for the second year in the Rally Patrio, which is staged in Morelia, one of the Pan Am cities. This rally counts in the Mexican National Rally Championship, so the competition was keen.

After tech and registration on Friday afternoon, the thirty-six cars ran a speed stage around the fairgrounds in Morelia – two cars at a time. It was a hoot, as no one knew where they were going, except perhaps for the locals. After that fiasco, we finally sat down for dinner at 12:30 AM. Yes, in the morning!

On Saturday, we ran speed stages up and down Mil Cumbres in the morning, returned to the main square in Morelia for service and lunch, and then ran up and down the mountain again. It’s amazing how much faster one can go the second time up and back! Whee! Coming downhill in the afternoon, we were 8th and 6th overall.

Of course, there were the usual vicissitudes (yep, that’s a SAT word) of racing on Mil Cumbres, including: one speed stage being canceled when wood choppers felled a big tree across the road; a big cow herd walking down the middle of the road; a pony or two on the shoulder, and a fast chicken darting across the highway.

Furthermore, the slower cars in the congo line, like us, got hit with heavy rain and fog in two stages – fog so thick our speed dropped to 30 MPH at two points on the way up. But the last runs of the afternoon were clear and fast. BTW, the roads on Mil Cumbres are in good shape, but it all depends on how much rain falls on the mountain between now and October 22-23 and what the wood choppers decide to cut.

Thanks to the organizers for a great event and a special shout out to the tech inspector from the Mexican National Rally Commission who took the time to ding us for “improper placement” of our sponsor decals. Why are some guys in power like that?

Anyway, in our stock Subaru WRX we finished 12th of 36 cars, enjoyed our time in Morelia, and had uneventful ride back home in San Miguel de Allende.

**Coyote Convoy and Car Show

This is the 11th year of the Coyote Convoy. I started the convoy in 2002 as a mutual comfort society for the long drive down to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Since then, we have not lost a car.

The convoy will assemble in Laredo, Texas, Thursday, October 11 and cross the border on October 12 for the 550 mile trip to San Miguel de Allende. On Sunday, twenty or more Pan Am cars will be displayed in the main square of town to raise funds for charity. A special party is planned for hotel Matilda on Saturday night, as well, and maybe a surprise after that.

The convoy will then finish the 400 mile drive to Veracruz on Monday, October 15. Registration and inspection do not open until Tuesday at 10 AM and there are assigned parking places, so there is no reason to rush down there. Participation in the convoy is open to anyone with an interest in the Pan Am.


I am pleased to announce that the Alfa Romero advertised in Carreras News sold in two days. That was the car made specially for Sophia Loren. Congratulations, Frank!

I also had a report that the white, hard-top ’53 Studebaker advertised here a couple of months ago also sold. That was a good deal, too.

And the ’54 Studebaker that I advertised sold for considerably more on eBay than I was asking. The new owner, from California, plans to restore it as stock.

Overall, it has been difficult to sell some of the more expensive Pan Am cars for anywhere near the asking price, because it has become more difficult to get into the race. Why spend $85 KB on a car that might end up sitting in the garage?

Clearly, cars that have run and finished the event, without crashing out, are more valuable than newly minted cars.


As you probably know, motorcar racing is dangerous and speed rallies in Mexico can be addictive.


It’s getting late, but I still can help resolve some problems. I do not, however, do marriage counseling between drivers and co-drivers. Onward!

Gerie Bledsoe