Sunday, April 22, 2007

There is more to prepare than the just car

It's something drivers would rather not have to be concerned with however being prepared doesn't mean you can overlook some issues that could possibly arise. Once again it's what I call "What-if racing" and it's just one more reason why we need to be absolutely certain that our car can take whatever Mexico, the weather, wildlife, donkeys and even Mother Nature dishes out.

It's times like these that you want to have all your affairs in order so in the event of one of the above your team members will know exactly what is expected of them so they can each take care of their perspective duties. Each member of the team should have phone and insurance numbers for each other should the need arise. This is one more reason why blood types and allergies are on the car, helmet and driver's suit.

In all fairness, not every unexpected wild ride results in the need to do anything more than thank God, have a beer and begin with the tall tales... "Did I ever tell you about the time......" For example, when I was 16 years old I took a ride off a cliff while racing along the Rogue River Canyon that found me still inside my car some 375 yards just inches from rolling over into the deep side of the river. There was not a single door left on the car, the top had completely crushed me in-between two padded seats and the entire time two loggers where trying to extradite me from the car I was yelling, "How does my car look from out there? Will my dad be able to tell I had an accident?" I walked away without so much as a bruise but not all wild rides end with such prosperity and triumph.

The photos above were taken during the 2005 La Carrera Panamericana as North American Coordinator Gerie Bledso and navigator took a hairy ride that resulted in too many end over ends to count. Once again it shows why safety should never be anything short of perfection. Picture courtesy of Bret Haller and

Not only did Gerie Bledso's experience help to make the La Carrera Panamericana a safer race as a result of lessons learned regarding safety equipment but also resulted in some equipment rule changes and Gerie continues racing to this day even as I type this post. Gerie has been instrumental in helping us prepare for the upcoming La Carrera Panamericana and has never tired from the barrage of questions I dish out. Team California's Best would like to thank Gerie for being the outstanding gentleman racer that he is not to mention his involvement with the National Auto Sports Association (NASA).


George Sullivan said...

There is a video of the crash on the video Jack Febus on google quite a crash. We got to know Gerie Bledso while in Mexico he helped us when our alternator puked. Very good man to know tell him hello from us next time you see him. One of his crew was Al Cox from Canada probably one of the funniest people I have ever met. I am going to post this week just getting time to do it is the only problem. Your car looks like it is coming along well.

Gary Faules said...


I have seen the video more times that I like to tell. What are the odds that wreck took place on a flat part of the track?

Yes, Gerie is a great guy. A Man's Man if you will. Loves cars and talks slow and direct like a John Wayne sort of guy. "What 'ya say fella, Let's head up and go race cars in Mexico." LOL.

The car is coming along great and as usual I am looking forward to your post.