Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lucky is an awesome race car

If racing over Mil Cumbres isn't dangerous enough then they wait until this morning with the cold fog, loose gravel and throw in some running water across the road and then they make you run it again only this time backwards. Oh by the way, did I forget to tell you about the corner with the dead horse on it that had blood running across the pavement? And yes, the blood was extremely slippery.

Today it was Mil Cumbres turn to laugh as it claimed several cars into its dangerous curves and steep cliffs. As Jon and I came down a high speed straight into a corner we could see the taillights of one of the fastest mustangs going off the cliff. Later today his crew was trying to repair his car and replace broken wheels and tires and tonight they are replacing the engine but he did not finish two stages so it doesn't look too good for him. I was told this evening that's some teams had protested his car because he is using illegal aluminum heads. During another section we came into a high speed straight and saw a shredded flat tire in the middle of the road but no car and just a cliff but as we came over the next long crest we were relieved to see the Studebaker off on the side of the road. As we got closer we could see smoke but someone else had pulled over to help them. Just as we were passing the car burst into flames.

Later in the day several cars had flat ties and some lost wheel bearings, water pumps, radiators, rear ends and one guy even had his steering column come off in his hands at high speed but he was able to get it stooped in time since he was on a straight. Speaking of straights, today as Jon and I were doing a transit stage headed into the celebration in Aguascalientes we were doing 125 miles per hour while passing every car and truck on the road including police. Some of the straight aways are 10 miles long but very narrow and you can see forever. As we come into the cities the police are everywhere on every single corner and intersection and when they see a La Carrera car coming they stop everyone and make them pull over just for us. We pass on the right, the left, middle and all of the police and fans lining the roads for miles and miles are cheering and waving us on. I have never seen so many police in my life. Imagine doing a hundred in your home town and having the police stop traffic for you while sliding sideways onto a turn and getting on it with one hand on the wheel and the other waving at the fans. You have to see it to believe it and we have it all on DVD.

Every day we have had to get to bed at midnight or so and then get up at 5:30 in the morning to get going but tomorrow we get to sleep in and then the press will take out group photos before we leave at noon for a high speed section of La Bufa. Lucky LOVES high speed and Jon really does an awesome job helping me perform.

Considering we are competing against some of the best drivers in the world, many of which have run this race many times before in cars that cost ten times what Luck cost we are extremely proud of how well our team strategy is working. We don't race against other drivers... we simply run our own race and at the end of the day let it be were it is. There are different classes and there is overall but one of the things that is interesting is the variations. For example... The Vettes (only one left) is allowed to run a four barrel carb but we are only allowed to use a two barrel. Then we are left competing for overall with our 289 against Turismo Mayor cars which are essentially tube frame cars with Winston cup high performance engine that can do in excess of 200 miles per hour. Another driver we have become good friends with and competing against is Canadian rally champion and three time SCCA champion driver, Karl Scheible.

Oh did I forget to mention how we have been doing? The day before yesterday we had fallen to 22 place but after the beating we gave Mil Cumbre we were back up to 13th overall and 5th in class. Then after today we have moved up to 8th overall but better yet we made the podium and guess which position.... FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right we won the whole shooting match today and what a great experience this is. Just getting to take part in a world class race as this is a great experience in itself but to win the most dangerous section of the entire race on our first attempt let alone be in the top ten is beyond our wildest imagination. I am sorry to say I am unable to post any photos tonight however trust me I will post some of us on the podium with our awards as soon as we are able. In the mean time keep us all in your prayers and keep pulling for us since we only have two days left.

To my beautiful wife I send my love and to my awesome son in law and beautiful daughter I send my love and please give my grandson a big hug from Papa before taking his trick or treating tomorrow. My thoughts are with you all as well as Father Peter. And a big WAAASSS UPPPP to the guys at the shop. As for Jon's wife, thank you for allowing Jon to be here for without him this would not be what it is. His dedication and skill as a navigator to Team Californias Best is beyond description and even many other teams have learned he is the man to come talk to when they have a question. I have every intention to see he comes home with a smile on his face. God knows he puts one on mine.


George Sullivan said...

Outstanding job !! Your posts have been very enjoyable I look forward to reading them each day. You have to be very proud of what you are doing and having your family and friends to support you as they have. Be Safe.

Jana Emerson said...

Jon and Gary,
NICE WORK...you guys are just amazing. We love you hare at home and wish you luck and safety with todays route.
xoxo Jana and Natalie

anthony said...

congrats on the win.. you guys kick ass! continue to be safe and keep to your game plan.. We all miss you here at home and await your safe return..

anthony said...

damm i cant wait to see the footage on HD..wow! ( i better bring a change of boxers) lol..

Spyderman said...

Gary and Jon, Happy Holloween!!! I told you I felt a win coming, congratulations. My next prediction you are going to love!!! I looked into my crystal ball and I see a podium finish for overall. Go get em guys!