This year I have the great honor of participating along side my father in one of Mexico's most famous automobile races - The La Carerra Panamericana.
This internationally acclaimed event had its beginnings in the 50's, to celebrate the inauguration of the highway that would cross the entire American continent under the direction of Mexican president Miguel Aleman. Organizers invited the best drivers as well as automotive brands that were the stars of the racing sports of this time. Some of these brands had already reached 50 years established on America. After four consecutive years, this event came to an end as safety became a major issue after several tragic accidents.
Despite the dangers of the original event, the experiences were so positive to the extent that in 1988 it was resurrected with the original cars of that era but with modern safety guards. As of today, this event has reached 21 uninterrupted editions; and manages to obtain 80 - 100 participant automobiles and the exhilaration of an audience who enjoys every moment of it along with the magnificent scenery Mexico has to offer.
Different car clubs and drivers participate from all over America and Europe with cars from the 1940-1965 periods in different categories, with modifications that underline the participant's safety, allowing the use of brand new technology in some parts. (disc brakes, fuel cells, etc.)
Although every participant feels like a celebrity since they are all treated as such, this event has had some world renowned celebrities who have participated over the years.
I will be performing the role of "Co-Pilioto" or Co-Pilot from the passenger seat of the race car. This entails navigating route maps as well as monitoring the mechanical systems of the car. Communicating road hazards to my father/Pilot, turns and anything else you may encounter at 150 mph racing through the Mexican countryside are also in the job description!
The race is complied of approximately 2000 miles of racing in two stages: Transit (city drivin') and speed (wide open and hopin'). The event takes place the last two weeks of October. We will caravan the vehicles down to the Southern tip of Mexico and race back to the Northern border near Texas. Did I mention we receive the route book just days prior to racing?!
My father and I will be accompanied by long time family friend, Alan who will have the responsibility of chase/support vehicle providing logistics information, replacement parts and making sure we keep that ol' Mustang running.
We will compete in the Historic "C" class in a 1965 Ford Mustang. My father has been owner/driver of this particular car since the early 90's with Nostalgia Racing. The Mustang has seen many of the most famous race tracks in the U.S. and now has the privilege of competing in the La Carrera Panamericana.
Thank you to my dad Jeff, for the opportunity of a life time and the ultimate father/son experience along with all those who have helped make this a reality. I look forward to sharing stories and photos with all!