Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rubbing elbows with all the right people

I saw on another blog that someone wrote, "There are no great drivers in the La Carrera like there used to be." Nothing could be further from the truth and if the jealous idiot who wrote that knew anything about racing he just may have recognized some of the names of some of the finest drivers in the world which competed this year alone. If I were him I would also ask myself, how many of the drivers from the years past were well known before they ran their first La Carrera Panamericana? The real truth is, it really doesn't matter what some uninformed individual thinks. What really matters is the self satisfaction every team and driver obtained while being honored with actually taking part of all that took place. I told a friend the other day about one of my favorite quotes... one that seems all too fitting under the circumstances. "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood. At best, he knows the triumph of high achievement; if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt

That being said I would enjoy sharing something about one of those great drivers we competed against and were very fortunate to become good friends with. His name is Jo Ramirez and his co-pilot is Alberto Cruz who drove the number 257 Volvo with a time of 4:26:09. Had he not been in the Exhibition class Jo would have finished in 16th place overall. One day Jon, said, "How cool is that? Wearing those shoes." Not knowing what Jon was talking about I had to ask but before I explain for those who don't know Jo please take a look at JO RAMIREZ HERE before reading on.

Anyway, one day Jo and Jon were leaning onto Lucky's hood looking over the route book for that days stages. When I asked about the red shoes Jon said, "Hey Jo, I have to be honest with you... I heard who's racing shoes those are that you're wearing and I have to tell you, I think that's simply awesome." Judging by the look on Jo's face he was surprised and it seems Jon really hit a good note with him as they began talking about that surprisingly amazing pair of shoes but more importantly was who they had belonged too and how he had acquired them. It seems that while most "collectible" items in this world somehow end up on some collectors mantle piece there are some that end up doing what they were truly meant to be used for. In this case they were the driving shoes of non other then THE Ayrton Senna. Jo Rameriz worked on the Maclaren team during the reign of Senna and acquired them at that time. What an amazing tribute to one of the greatest drivers in the world but to what must have been an equally amazing friendship as well. How poetic is that?

Having spent several weeks racing in the La Carrera Panamericana with the likes of great drivers like Jo Ramirez and others we have come away with a much more significant sense of achievement and accomplishment and it is men like these that help make it so.


Marcia said...

Thanks Gary for another great post to your blog! You really capture the Spirit of La Carrera!

Gary Faules said...

Marcia, You are more than welcome. I'm just happy I didn't capture Montezuma. LOL.

With regards to the spirit of La Carrera, there is so much that makes up that spirit but it pretty much boils down to what Theodore Roosevelt had to say about it. In reality "being in that arena" includes all those amazing places, making all the friends, and knowing victory or defeat. That being said it was our own hearts that were captured by the Spirit of La Carrera.