Friday, October 31, 2008

Saludos Amigos... By Jorge Arellano Vital

There is one aspect of La Carrera Panamericana that I find almost impossible to explain in words but one I desire to share with others. It is trying to tell someone how passionate the people of Mexico are about La Carrera Panamericana or understanding why they love it so. Regardless of age when you look beyond their smiles and into their eyes as they wave and cheer the drivers and cars you see so much more than someone who thinks the cars are cool. They don't see the cars and drivers as cool... they see them as those men and machines they heard their fathers and their fathers before them describe to them from the time they are little boys and girls. Somehow I can close my eyes and see a dark haired man using his two hands to describe how two cars passed on a tight corner as his children sit on the edge of their seat with anticipation and finally says, "And THAT... is what my grandfather told me about the magnificent Juan Fangio."

With that in mind it pleases me to share something with you that a friend Queretaro Mexico was kind enough to send me.

Carrera Panamericana… this is what it means to me.
By Jorge Arellano Vital

The first toys I can recall I had when I was a little kid were small plastic replicas of the formula one cars from the 50s, I was 3 or 4 years old. That started my love for race cars… then the years passed and my family moved to Queretaro. Then, when I was 8, my friend´s father told to us about a race with classic cars that used to drive by the Carretera Panamericana (Panamericana Highway), in Queretaro. That original highway is now Constituyentes Avenue. He described a lot of things about the cars and how his father used to take him to watch the cars when he was little like us. Then this thing grew up in him and his brother and they become amateur car racers.

(Photo by Gary at San Miguel de Allende)

Every time I was in father´s car while he was driving by Constituyentes Avenue and I saw old signs that referred to addresses with the Carretera Panamericana name on them, I dreamed of seeing those cars racing at top speed. When I was starting High School, in 1988, the new age for the Carrera Panamericana started up. Maybe I was too busy with my high school and college years, then with my work, because it wasn't until 2006 while surfing the web I rediscovered my interest for the Carrera Panamericana. That year I planned ahead and marked in the calendar that the race was coming and it was going to be in Queretaro.

From that year I toke the time to go and watch the cars as they arrived in Queretaro, take some pictures and video, then go to the place they arrive, meet the teams and see the cars up close, also I go in the morning to the start of the next stage. But I have noticed a thing that makes the Carrera Panamericana an event that can´t be compared to any other kind of race. The drivers, co-drivers and crews are very accessible with the people, they share their smiles, always willing to give an autograph or pose for a picture. And if you ask them anything they always answer you in a good mood, no matter if they have been on the road for hours.

Gerie Bledsoe with some excited La Carrera Fans. Photo Courtesy Of Coop.

They are common people with a dream and regardless of their activities outside this Carrera, here they are all here with a goal in common, to participate in the hardest car race doing what they like the most. I have met many people and try to be in contact with them, sharing pictures and video or only a salute once in a while. Like Thomas Haana, Geert Boels, The Gregory family: John, Chirslana, Mathew and Jacob, Bill Beilharz, Jorge Ceballos, The Predator Performance Team: Larry, David, Bruno and “English” Mike. They are all regular people that are always a pleasure to meet and talk to.

This race may be about cars running in the greatest race of all, but is also about the people that make an effort to come every year and have the thrill of a lifetime. Here in Queretaro they are always going to be welcomed with open arms and a smile and many others like me will look forward for this Autumn classic event for many years to come. So I can welcome back old friends and make new ones.

Now I know what a phrase that is commonly painted in the cars really means: Saludos Amigos!!

Did You Know..

One of the most exspensive crashes ever recorded in racing history took place in La Carrera Panamericana? It was the Mercedes Benz SL 300 Gullwing pictured below. These cars are valued at almost a million dollars. The piloto of this car took on La Carrera Panamericana and lost.

The Original PanAm Class

When you get right down to it, how much more rewarding can it be than to win the Original PanAm class in the world famous La Carrera Panamericana? Afterall, this is the class that started the whole enchilada some 58 years ago. These cars have so many restrictions which do not allow teams to use any late model technology and they are forced to drive them in exactly the same manner as they did back in the 50's. Anyone who have ever built and raced cars with any success will find this simply amazing.

My hat is off to all the Original Pan Am competitors that dared challenge La Carrera Panamercana but I am especially honored to know and to have raced with Carson Scheller and his team. Congratulations on a very special win. I am sure a lot of the legends are looking down and smiling at Carson this day and when you consider he beat a world class F1 driver in the process I am sure Juan Fangio would be especially proud.

Judgement Day

From the looks of things, some of these guys really need to get back home to their loved ones.

When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Gets Going

I just love this photo taken by Coop. It's a photo of George and Tom's #263 Volvo. Just a few days ago I saw a photo of them off the road way down a hillside and the next thing I know I am reading Kirstens blog about them sitting in their car on the back of a car hauler for what was to be a long 6 hour ordeal and it broke my heart. But not allowing adversity to hold them back they persevered and the next thing you know not only were they back but in fact they fought their way to a podium finish and more amazingly they finished 5th in class. Now here they sit after completing the rest of the race. This is what auto racing is all about and it shows the character of two fine gentlemen racers. Awesome finish.

Absolute Final Results 2008 La Carrera Panamericana!


Random notes;

3 Historic C cars finish in the top 10 same as lat year.

#433 Carson Scheller wins 1st place in Original Panam!!! What a go Carson!

#110 Ex WRC champion finishes 4th overall 3 minutes and 27 seconds behind #133 of Doug Mockett.

#290 Richard Bailey wins 3rd place in Historic A Plus just behind world famous Jo Ramirez!!!

#372 Richard Tyzack wins Historic C and 6th overall with # 388 Bill Shanahan exactly 2 minutes behind followed up by #370 of Marc Davis only 2 seconds behind! Wow, what a race! Honorable mention to #365 Chevrolet who won 4th in Historic C as well as 16th overall.

#152 Richard Clark and Andy Prill place 15th overall and 1st overall in Sport Menor for two consecutive years! Very impressive.

#108 Bill Beilharz wins 1st overall and brings home the honors for the U.S.A.!

Final Day 6 Results WOW!

Click Here For Final Day 6 Results

The last day of racing has brought about some amazing finishesin various classes. There are so many amazing stories behind all of these cars and classes, many of which I would like to know more about. It's impossible to write about all the victory and defeats from thousands of miles away but we all know there has to be so many amazing stories to be told. So take time to find your favorite piloto and co -pilotos on these results and see where there have been and how they did.

Random results;

#110 Stig Blomquist wins last day.

#133 Doug Mockett and Angelica Fuentes wins 2nd place.

Even though he blows his engine #114 Lars Stugemo still finishes in 5th place.

#351 Bern Langewiesche wins 1st place in Historic C by 2 seconds. (Tyzack's 6 second penelty cost him 1st place.)

The amazing battle for 3rd place in Historic C was incredible but the #388 of Bill Shanahan beat out #370 of Marc Davis by a mere 2 seconds!!

#205 Sam Burg wins Sport Mayor

#405 Jan Lammers wins 1st place in Original Panam and # 433 Carson Scheller takes 22nd and #422 of Richard Morrison takes 3rd. I wonder if Gerie Bledsoe was helping pilot this car since I know he filled in for a couple days? I will find out more on that later.

#152 Richard Clark wins 1st place in Spot Menor.

#290 Richard Bailey wins 1st place in Historic A Plus 3 seconds ahead of #280 Ulrich Lanius.

#309 Brian DeVries wins Historic B.

#277 Lars Hroiss wins Historic A.

In what has been a great battle going back and forth between #299 of Francisco Ortiz and #288 of Joe Brubaker, #299 wins 6th place and #299 wins 8th place.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Too Excited To Be Tired

1st Place Overall #108 Bill Beilharz and Jorge Ceballos

2nd Place Overall #10 Jorge Pedrero and Marco Antonio

3rd Place Overall #133 Doug Mockett and Angelica Fuentes

Photos Courtesy Of Go Fast

Thank You!

I can't list you all but I would like to take time to thank those who allowed me to use their photos and give them proper credit for their awesome shots. Without them events that take place would be difficult to describe.

Thank you very much to fellow writer, artist, photographer and co-piloto, Coop. Be sure and visit COOPSTUFF.COM and buy something dammit!

I would also like to thank Tach'O from GO FAST ENERGY DRINK not only for his awesome photos but for his above and beyond the call of duty as well as his friendship. THANK YOU!

A very special thank you to my good friends Hershel and Sherrie McGriff for helping make this years La Carrera a very special one for may of us.

Thank you to Mary Murrel and the rest of the directors of CONCURSO MOTOR SPORTS SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE that made us feel so welcome and whom went so far out of her way to ensure our visit to their beautiful city such a wonderful one. And don't forget all that you do to help those who need it. It is a pleasure to be a small part of what it is you dedicate so much love and hard work too.

Again this year I can't begin to thank Gerie Bledsoe enough for all he does to promote an event that is so amazing that there are not enough adjectives to do the job. His tireless efforts and dedication to La Carrera Panamericana and racing in general is a tribute to to racing all by it's self. His unselfishness in helping others obtain their dream should never go without the praise it deserves. Thank You Gerie.

Last but not least, I want to thank Jerry Churchill. Gerie, I know you're listening... Thanks for the memories and the example of what a fine gentleman racer is all about. I really missed seeing you this year and your presence was sorely missed.

Got Anything To Say?

If any team (old or recent) has any personal experience/s they wish to share with regards to anything related to La Carrera Panamericana or if you are simply a fan who loves all that encompasses this awesome event or someone at home who have friends or loved one taking part in it then send me an email telling me all about it and I will post it for others to enjoy.

Keep On Keepin On

Even the front runners can't stay out of the grapse of danger as seen here by the overall winning #108 Studebaker of Bill Beilharz.

#109 does a little dance with the devil.

Must have hit some ice.

Photos Courtesy Of Coop

The Tale Of Two Mustangs. Ain't It The Dickens.

When it's all said and done, cars like these are heroes in my eyes. If racing was easy none of us would have the real appreciation for for auto racing that we do. Without having paid the price at times what sort of excitement would racing have? None. In a way I suppose each and everyone of us should take our hats off to thank cars and teams like these ones. We all know how many hours of hard work went into them and the dedication to the sport not to mention the vision of doing well and how costly it is not only in dollars but more importantly in heartache, anguish and despair. But there should be no regret for it is far better to return home in defeat and to be able to know you gave it your very best than it is to brag about how you're going to do something. Yep, there heroes.

Gary Jones Motorsports #357 and #363 taken on October 17th in San Miguel de Allende.

Same two cars 12 days later.

Proof that the dangers of La Carrera are no myth and that good safety equipment is a must if you plan on walking away.

Photos Courtey Of Coop

Where It Ends Is Really Where It All Begins

I remember all the excitement of the final hours in Nuevo Laredo prior to all the teams leaving all the fanfare of hundreds of thousands of fans all of who were trying to meet the teams and see the cars... Make that "historical" cars because that's exactly what they are now as much so as the drivers are and rightfully so. Since 1950 pilotos from all over the world have come to try their luck and skill out on the Great Mexican Race and everyone that has now has written their names in the history of racing in what is in fact one of the most grueling races in history.

What you won't read about in many other places is how many of them are just this very moment realizing what they have done and how rewarding it all is. Don't forget that only hours ago they were in the height of battle with mortal enemies and now they are friends for life born into a racing fraternity unlike no other in the world and will share a camaraderie that will last each of them a life time. At this very moment several of them are thinking to themselves about how they look forward to someday telling their children or grandchildren about the time they raced in La Carrera Panamericana. The truth is, it's an emotional feeling and more times than not, overwhelming.

There are some of them now that are dead beat tired and just want to take a hot shower, lay down and relax partly because their bodies need to begin regaining strength and stamina which has been left on the last 2000 miles of highway throughout some of the most amazing places many of them have ever been. They won't even begin to recall the amazingly wonderful people they have met until the trip home as well as food, sites, close calls and more. Right now some of them are fast asleep in their hotel rooms, some are sick having enjoyed one too many cervezaa or too much uncooked vegetables something that will be a constant reminder for weeks to come. Some will go to someplace for a quite dinner where they can drink a toast to each other and say, "By God, we did it." Later tonight there will be the usual long wait as the awards celebration will be much too long and God forbid if it's held in the same place as it was last year. Don't get me wrong... it was an awesome place. Plenty of room, good lighting, nice atmosphere and so on. The only problem was after it was over and they said good night everyone walked outside only to realize there was no way to get back to our hotels. No taxis, a long ways from town and a lot of people. Thanks for coming, now you're on you're own.

Tonight will be one for a few new friends to say good bye knowing many of them will never see each other again. Almost seems unfair and yet they will both share the exact same dreams and memories for years to come. In the morning each of them will pack the trailers one last time before hitting the road to return to their families at which time reliving the La Carrera Panamericana will officially begin.


The official word has just been sent by the Officials at La Carrera Panamericana headquarters.

Bill Beiharz and Jorge Ceballos are the winners of La Carrera Panamericana!


In second place is Jorge Roberto Pedrero Zardain and Marco Antonio Hernandez.

Photo Courtesy Of Go Fast Energy Drink

In third place is Doug Mockett and Angelica Ramirez.

Photo Courtesy of Go Fast Energy Drink

Thousands of people in Nuevo Laredo received the winners in a true popular celebration. The great and legendary Carrera Panamericana has finished it’s XXI edition.

As soon as I have the rest of the daily and overall results I will have them posted so we can all see how the rest of the competitors did. Congratulations to all of the teams.

PS; This confirms several of the previous conclusions regarding other teams being broken down are mostly incorrect. Had those results been correct Doug Mockett would not have finished 3rd.

To Hell With Globalstar And The Rocket It Rode In on!

I am not going to post any further information that comes from Globalstar. (EVER) Based on Globalstar's site there are so many cars broken down along the road or wrecked including Jan Lommer that I can't count them while many others are already partying in Nuevo Laredo so until I have something more concrete or confirmed hang tight, have a six pack and relax. Riiiight.


After all the hair I have pulled for the last hour I just read a report on a Mexican news spot that reported the following...

La Carrera Panamericana
Bill Beiharz Wins La Panamericaninen Nuevo Laredo

1o Bill Beiharz
2o Jorge Pedrero
3o Dough Mocket

THIS IN NOT OFFICIAL and at this time I have nothing to say either way. How will I ever get the hair back in my skull!

If this latest report is accurate then my suspicions about Tyzack and Davies would most certainly be wrong.

EDIT, I believe the site that reported the results above are inaccurate and I now suspect they have only posted yesterdays results. Bummer.

I Sure Hope I'm Reading This Thing Wrong...

Using the Globalstar website to watch a car race is like a blind man ordering a subscription of Playboy... just wishful thinking and you still don't know what thinks look like.

There are so many questions at this time and possibly I shouldn't even post this at this time. THIS IS NOT OFFICIAL or even accurate at best but it appears as if Doug Mockett is either broken down or... It also appears that Richard Tyzack and Marc Davis both in Historic C are out as well while Shanahan is sitting in Nuevo Laredo.

Lots of questions at this moment. Stay tuned!

Bad Luck Report Begins

I just got a message from fellow 2007 LCP racer Karl Scheible that Lars Stugemo piloto of Studebaker #114 is out having suffered from a blown engine. Yesterday Lars finished 3rd in Turismo Mayor Class and 4th overall. Tough luck for one of the nicest racers anyone could ever wish to meet.


Post From A Friend Of LCP who is onsite Day 6

DAY 6 ....

One day to go and Stig is edging up the table.

Todays results 1. Stig 2. Doug 3. Bill
In the overalls Bill is leading at 3:58:20 with Jorge Zardain on 3:59:20 and Doug in third on 4:02:03.
Stig is in fourth on 4:06:35

Richard Tyzack won Day 6 and leads Historic C... he is 6th overall on 4:20:20 with one day to go and a cushion of nearly five minutes over the Shanahan-Murray car and Davies-Clevely Ford. These two are tied on 4:25:15 so it will be an interesting race tomorrow.

Clark-Prills 356 again won Menor and look set to win their class tomorrow and the Jan Lammers 356 again won its class on day 6 but wont win overall after its disasterous first day when it was delayed 90 mins when it ran out of petrol. The penalties it incurred on Day 1 were so large that it seems impossible for it to win O.Panam class as it is still 10 mins behind the Ford of Schiller-Richardson.

Yesterdays crash.. in which no one was hurt..... had three consecutive cars going off. The first going over the bank into the field. the next into the bank and finally the third in ontop of the second.

Rusty Wards Federale Studebaker was again wooing the crowds but has seen Rusty under the car most of the evening try7ing to find his missing 2nd gear .

356 Mole

Houston... We Have A Problem. (Or Do We?)

On the site there is an article that after translation appears to be saying, due to some poor time keeping there seems to be some concerns as to the overall times that have been reported. As a result the final/absolute results may not be made final until the following morning. THIS IS NOT an official report nor was any of this information obtained through any La Carrera Panamericana official. In any event, not only will it keep the rest of us wondering who may be effected by this should it be true but it will really make tonight's awards/dinner interesting.

It's The Last Day And They're Off!

I have been so frustrated when trying to watch Globalstar and for me it has been worthless at best. But if I am using it correctly, it appears that this morning Lars Stugemo is all over Bill Beilharz tail end early with Mockett next and Stig pulling up the rear. Gonna be a long day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Now Lets Look At The OVERALL Results

As far as the top three are concerned nothing has changed.

1st Place #108 Bill Beilharz
2nd Place #10 Jorge Pedero
3rd Place #133 Doug Mockett

Stig has passed Lars into 4th but it will be very difficult for him to get Mockett unless something goes wrong. For what it's worth tomorrow's 1st stage is where Mockett's clutch took a dump on him last year costing him the race.

#372 piloted by Richard Tyzack moved up one position to 6th overall while Marc Davis and Bill Shanahan remained in 8th and 9th overall respectfully.

Out of 107 starting cars there are 70 competing at the end of day 6.

Tomorrow is the final day and it begins with some very dangerous and treacherous roads afterwards which will open up to a VERY LONG DAY of hundred miles stints and some of the highest speed stages of the entire race. I am talking about hit the gas and don't lift until you see the finish line in Nuevo Laredo kind of stints. It's important to keep in mind most of this stage are downhill and they will be dropping down from 8000 feet to almost sea level. Their engines, transmissions and rear ends (both under the car and the ones in the seats) have have the livin crap beat out of them nonstop for 7 days. To make matters worse, if the teams don't jet the carburetors correctly tonight it will cost them tomorrow. Last year this section saw a lot of cars with blown engines, blown tires and lost of blue smoke before getting pushed over the finish line.

Tonight you will party like you never have before but one of the best feelings ever will take place tommorrow when taking that last drive as you enter the city of Nuevo Laredo with thousands of people lining the highway and street while the police are running the gauntlet for you encouraging you to go faster and faster. Then as the streets begin to get so crowed that race fans are reaching out and touching your car you begin to realize, "SON OF A BITCH WE MADE IT!" Go get'em all you lucky Pilotos and Co Pilotos. For those of you that ran into some adversity... You should be proud that you made the effort which is more than hundreds of thousands of men before you failked to do for as many excuses as you can think of ande I would like to leave you with this quote..... "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


My hat is off to you for taking on one hell of an adventure and like I said before you ever left for Mexico, this will change each and every one of your lives and you just don't know it yet.

Day 6 Results and Day 5 Overall Standings



Man oh man... there are some great battles here some of which just jump right off the page ate me and I don't know where to begin so I'm going to just type them in as I see them.

First of all in the coveted Historic C Class the #351 piloted by Bern Langeweiesche and co piloted by Ranier Vorkoper kicked Richard Tyzack's royal butt today and Bill Shanahan's too! They took first place by only 2 seconds!

Oh yeah Stig won again today and Mockett's Rocket came in 2nd!!! GO MOCKETT! (Remember... this is entirely unbiased reporting)

#277 piloted by Lars Kroiss in Historic A has moved up to 1st passing both #264 piloted by Sebastian Bleekemolen and #275 piloted by Tom Davies.

Another huge move is #290 piloted by Richard Bailey in Historic A Plus only 3 seconds ahead of #280 Ulrich Lanius who was only 4 seconds ahead of #287 piloted by John Voss! Now that's a freakin race! What a go Apple Farmer team!

Also in Historic A Plus is the heated battle between #299 piloted by Francisco Ortiz who moved back up to 6th place and passing #288 of Joe Brubaker who slipped back to 8th place. What a battle these two Datsuns are having. Now there's a great story for a Datsun Mag.

Remember The Blue Whale #145 which is the Cadillac that suffered a broken suspension part which caused it to become friends with a boulder on the side of the hill and piloted by John Daniels? Well today he finished 10th overall!!! Well done.

#405 piloted by Jan Lammers took a 1st in Original PanAm and Carson Scheller is in 2nd with #422 Richard Morrison in third. I wonder if Gerie Bledso is still sharing the duties in the car???

Sam Burg's #205 is still in 1st place in the Sport Mayor Class.

Man, is it hot in here or is it just me!

Dyana Martlet told me that at last nights driver's meeting they continued to play the video of yesterdays terrible crash over and over. It appears it sunk in.

Another Very Exciting Battle in Original PaAm

One of the battles I have been really enjoying is between my good friend Carson Scheller and F1 driver Jan Lammers.

We first met Carson during the 2007 La Carrera Panamericana and have been friends ever since and have stayed in touch as well as seeing each other once in a while at various get-togethers. Besides the likable personality another reason I like Carson so much is when he races he's there to win come hell or high water. Gotta like a guy with that attitude.

One of the drivers who is trying to teach Carson how it's done is Jan Lammers. Here's a small piece of Jan's resume... He participated in 41 Formula One Grand Prix races, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988 and is the seatholder of the Dutch A1 Grand Prix team. After winning the 1978 European Formula 3 Championship he
began his F1 career. In 1982 he tried IndyCar racing before turning to sports car racing. In 1988, Lammers, together with Andy Wallace and Johnny Dumfries, wrote history at Le Mans. In a Jaguar he drove 13 out of the 24 hours, and beat the Porsche team who had remained unbeaten since 1982. Lammers and the team managed to finish first despite a broken gearbox. It was the first victory for Jaguar since 1957. For this feat he received the title Honorary Member of the BRDC a title rarely awarded to non-British residents. Enzo Ferrari and Juan Manuel Fangio have also received the award. In 1990 Lammers won the 24 Hours of Daytona driving a Jaguar XJR-12 along with Davy Jones and Andy Wallace.

The next time you read where someone has written that the La Carrera Panamericana is just a bunch of fat old CEO types do me a favor and send me a note so I can contact them.

Anyway, here's Carson driving his beautiful Ford Victoria #433 and co piloted by Shields Richardson battling against world class Formula One driver Jan Lammers in a beautiful, nibble footed #405 Porsche and a battle it's been. Jan has taken 1st in class numerous days but as any good endurance racer knows it's all about consistency and consistency has been Carson's middle name for the last 6 days. All he has to do tomorrow is maintain. Take care of his car, don't be stupid and make mistakes and pray there are no donkys and he'll bring home 1st place.

Oh by the way, did I mention that Lammers co-piloto is a rockstar and has been to stunt driving school among other things? No kidding. (I wonder what Shields has done lately? LOL)

More LCP Videos

For those of you who would like to see all the competitors cars as they come through the arch here you go. I don't know what the announcer is saying but I'm sure he's explaining to the wives and girlfriends why the models help is needed to make the cars go faster.

These Canadians Have Gas Flowing In Their Veins

Another team we were very fortunate to become friends with during the 2007 La Carrera Panamericana was John and Chrislana Gregory who pilot and co-pilot the #524 Studebaker which runs in the Original Panamericana. Some of my fondest moments are from the parking lot in Oaxaca during the two days before the race started and a lot of the reasons for such wonderful memories was due to the friendship that formed between the Gregory's and the Stewart's both from Canada and both driving Studebakers. We all just seemed to hit things off right from the start and before long we were talking about our loved ones back home and anything else that friends talk about. The need to feel comfort with others around you when you are thousands of miles from home is great and they all fit the bill to a tea. Our crews obviously felt the same was since while we were spending our days in the race they found a camaraderie with each other as well. It could not have been arranged any better even if someone had tried to plan it.

During the last year I lost touch with the Gregory's and the truth was I sure missed talking to them. It wasn't until a couple months before this years race that I learned this year not only were they coming again but their two wonderful boys were building a car and coming as well. When I saw them pull into San Miguel de Allende I was stocked to see them. It was as if a long lost pet had found it's way home and this time I WILL NOT LOSE their email address.

They are such a terrific family with high moral values and the entire family is nothing short of perfect and this time we got to introduce our other family members to each other as we were all present and accounted for with the exception of my son Will. The Gregory's have done an amazing job raising these two fine young gentleman. I should know, we have one of our own.

John and Chrislana's #425 Studebaker and Matthew and Jacob Gregory's #435 Studebaker.

So far the #425 is still doing great but the piloto and co-piloto of the #435 are going to have some wild stories to tell when they get back to Canada. Some I am sure they will never forget. "Well, Aye, we were coming into this corner at a high rate of speed when all of a sudden..."

Race Report From Chip Fudge #356 Chevrolet


`Wet corrupts power`......... quote from Andy Prill in car 152, Europes leading 356 race specialist.....` `Bring it on`...................

AND HE WASNT WRONG.............


WHO SAYS SIZE COUNTS...........................THE 356s BITE BACK

In a day that saw a crash that made Jerry Bs famous La Bufa crash look like a roll in the park,, the little engined cars from Porsche and Europe hit back. European drivers must be used to rain....

ex WRC Champion Stig Blomquist , who has already admitted that he is happier on gravel and dirt excelled in wet and thick fog yesterday, sliding everywhere to take TOP SPOT on day 5. He was 1st in class and won by a clear 31 seconds. Gaining time on lead Bill Beilharzs car 103.
Stig and wet roads ....`Happy as a pig in shit` comes to mind.

A car that was filmed at close up showed a high speed into the dirt wall, an explosion of dust and then the next car smashing on top of it. Luckily all well. There are now only 61 starters on day 5 out of 107 entries.

F1 and Lemans winner Jan Lammers drove a faultless race to again come in 1st in O. Panam in his little 356 and 8th for the day.
A1 driver Sebestian Bleekemolen had a brilliant day in his 356 taking 1st spot in Historic A 17th on day 5 only two spots behind the super fast entry from Monoco based Richard Clark who as predicted by Andy Prill zoomed on in the rain taking 1st in Sport Menor and 16th for the day.
Stanley Bauer in car 262 nearly made it four class wins for the 356s when he drove superbly in his car to come 2nd in Historic A plus less than 30 seconds behind the 2 litre Alfa of Ulric Lanius.

Hstoric B saw no less than three Porsches on the podium with Brian Devries in car 309 winning class closely followed by 335 and 301.

Englishman Richard Tyzack ..again a man used to the wet roads in UK,,,, drove to a wonderful 1st in Historic C in his super speedy Mustang. Even the Tom Davies team in the tiny Mini Cooper excelled coming in at 4th in class and 23rd for the day. He starts today behind the LT of Sam Burg/Dyana Marlett.

Dyana was voted `Babe of the Copilotos` in a very closely fought competion with Angelica Fuentes and Ute Olten as runners up to follow....

Rusty Ward has had a wonderful week .. avoiding all water and rivers... pleasing the thousands in his Federales painted car and yet again placed well at 20th for day5 two spots ahead of the red LT.
The lttle Datsun no. 288 of Brubaker and Emery also pleasing the crowds with Michael dressed as a wrestling gimp...but attracting most of the sponsors scasntily clad girls to stand with him and his beautiful Luca Libre Team car. Maybe next year we will all be wearing those masks... in transit sections of course....

Safe Racing....
356 Mole

Terrible Crash Video

This video broke my heart. Stewart and Linda Robertson with the beautiful #120 Studebaker have a terrible crash only to be made worse when one of the Gary Jones Motorsports GT350s loses control and crashes into them.


The top photo is the Gary Jones Motorsports #363 driven by Bob Summerour and co-piloted by Bud Feldkamp. As of day 4 this car was in 21st overall and 5th in class.

The bottom photo is the #120 Studebaker of Stewart and Linda Robertson with the other Gary Jones Motorsports #357 driven by Jerry Loftin and co-piloted by Gary Jones sitting on top of them. At the end of day 4 Robertson's car was in 12th overall and Loftins car was in 42nd overall.


Let me know if that works for you.

Bud Feldkamp, navigator in the #363 Mustang is a dentist who owns Glen Helen Raceway, home to a round of the US Outdoor Motocross Championships. He also is a many time winner in Baja and other desert races having driven with legends like the three McMillins (Corky, Mark and Scott), Herbst, Roeseler and Pflueger, the other former 4-wheel overall champs Malcolm Smith and Jerry Penhall. Bud Feldkamp is also a two-time overall 4-wheel vehicle winner in this race (1975 and 1977) in the Score Baja 1000.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Best La Carrera Panamericana Video Ever Produced.

Don't forget to get your name on the mailing list for "REBIRTH OF A LEGEND" the most exciting HD/Blu-Ray La Carrera Panamericana DVD you have ever seen. If you think this race is good just wait until you see and hear the sights and sounds that will be available sometime in early December to include professional grade in-car camera and sound as well as footage shot along the entire route of the La Carrera Panamericana. Also included is some never before seen footage and photos from some of the first La Carrera Panamericana races during the early 50's. Lots of action, cars, breathtaking locations and cities and some amazing interviews and a look at what drivers go through to prepare and compete that you will NOT want to miss.

Just drop me an email at

Latest Results For Day 5

Things are really heating up! No... I'm not talking about Corvettes. That was last year. But there are some major changes and believe it or not CLICK HERE for the latest results for day 5!!!!

First of all I just received a message from a friend that our very good friends Stewart and Linda Robertson who pilot and co-pilot the beautiful #120 purple Studebaker have crashed and totaled their car. They were in 12th overall for day 4.

Also out with a blown piston is #426 the Original PanAm Lincoln piloted by Tom Overbaugh and co-piloted by Paul Wendt.

Hearsay has it that today three cars went out due to an incorrect description on a turn. Rumor is that it showed up as a 1 in the route book, but was more like a 4.

For those of you trying to keep up with Karl's overall calculations CLICK HERE for overall standings as of Day 4.

Today's Random notes;

Stig finally wins one.

Doug Mockett takes second. GO MOCKETT and FUENTES!

Jo Ramirez falls way back to 91st overall. Break? Crash?

Richard Bailey falls way back to 101. Same question.

Francisco Ortiz #299 and Joe Brubaker #288 swap positions again from 5th to 7th.

Byron DeFoor #212 falls from 21st place to 66th place. As a result Sam Burg moves into 1st in Sport Mayor Class.

Bill Shanahan's #388 Falcon moves up to 2nd in class as the #370 Falcon of Marc Davis falls to 15th overall and 3rd in class.

But listen to this....... CARSON SCHELLER IS IN 1ST PLACE OVERALL IN ORIGINAL PANAM!!!!! (as of day 4) GO CARSON!

Keep in mind these are not official and it's important to remember several of the cars on the overall results have crashed or blown engines so some cars will be even higher.

All Classes Are Exciting To Watch

Over the days of La Carrera Panamericana there is so much excitment as we watch so many things going on. There are so many variables... car problem, crash, competitor drops in overall standings and more. As we have seen already this year there are so many human interst stories. Mother/Father team vs their two sons, friends driving someone elses car, cars wrecking and getting back into the race, weather, cars swapping leads as they battle it out all day long every day. Man, you can't make this stuff up. THIS is La Carrera Panamericana and when someone says, "All I want to do is finish." I have to wonder how many of them really know what they are wishing for.

A couple of friends who are fighting for all it's worth in the Historic A Plus Class and putting on one hell of a show in the process are the #299 Datsun piloted by Francisco Ortiz and co-piloto Marco Martinez and the #288 Datsun piloted by Joe
Brubaker and co-piloto Michael Emery.

Photo Courtesy Of Go Fast

On day 2 #299 was in 73rd overall and 7th in class and #288 was in 103rd overall and 8th in class. But as of yesterday both have made huge moves bringing car #288 up to 60th and 7th in class and the #299 has passed them and climbed into 52nd overall and 5th in class!!!

Photo Courtesy Of Coop

This is a perfect example of why you never count anyone out of the race or think you have things in control. Like they say... It ain't over till it's over.

Mustangs Out Of Race

So far today both of the Gary Jones Mustangs are out One of them was in a three-car pileup this morning. Too bad, both were beautifully prepared, brand new cars and the maroon #363 piloted by Bob Summerour and co-pilot Bud Feldkamp was in 3rd in Historic C Class on day 3 and 18th overall. Yesterday he was 6th in class and 20th overall. The other Gary Jones Motorsports Mustang #357 piloted by Jerry Loftin and co-pilot Gary Jones is also crashed. Yesterday they were in 7th in Historic C and 22nd overall after having moved up from 10th in Historic C and 59th overall. All for not it seems.

Car #357 Courtesty of Go Fast

Car #363 Courtesty of Coop

I asked Coop about his ride when he was co-piloto in Ron Lee's Kurtis and he said, "The Kurtis was very cool, and very cold!" and he also said he saw Todd Landon re-welding a rear shock mount on the Falcon at the servicio today.


Results For Day 4

It looks like all my calls to contacts in Mexico got the results issue well in hand. Thank you to each of you.

CLICK HERE for the latest and most current results for Day 4.

The overall results for yesterday;

1st Place #108 piloto Bill Beilharz
2nd Place #110 piloto Stig Blomqvist
3rd Place #10 piloto Jorge Pedrero
4th Place #133 piloto Doug Mockett

Historic C;

1st Place # piloto Richard Tyzack
2nd Place # piloto Marc Davis
3rd Place # piloto Bill Shanahan

Historic B;

1st Place #335 piloto Ricardo Serrador
2nd Place #309 piloto Brian DeVries
3rd Place #333 piloto Emilio Jean

Historic A;

1st Place #264 piloto Sebastian Bleekemolen
2nd Place #277 piloto Lars Kroiss
3rd Place #263 piloto Tom Boes (After a crash they are on the podium!!!)

Historic A Plus;

1st Place #280 piloto Ulrich Lanius
2nd Place #290 piloto Richard Bailey
3rd Place #257 piloto Jo Ramirez

Last year Richard's engine blew and this year he's doing awesome including being in 2nd place ahead of world famous Jo Ramirez. CLICK HERE for more about Jo Ramirez.

This photo courtesy of Go Fast.

Sport Menor;

1st Place #152 piloto Richard Clark
2nd Place #153 piloto Bob Gett
3rd Place #157 piloto Martin Philippe

Sport Mayor;

1st Place #212 piloto Byron DeFoor
2nd Place #205 piloto Sam Burg
3rd Place #219 piloto Alfredo Roth

Original Pan Am;

1st Place #405 piloto Jan Lammers
2nd Place #322 piloto Carson Scheller
3rd Place #425 piloto John Gregory
What a go Carson and John!!!

37 out of 107 cars are not running or did not finish yesterday 12 of them are in the coveted Historic C Class. WOW, That's high attrition!

My good friend Marcia reported some other news part of which was VERY exciting news for me. My buddies who crashed early on day 3 are back in the race! Not only are they back in but as the results show they even finished on the podium!!! Be sure to check out her story about the Federally that high centered his squad car. LOL. CLICK HERE

Random notes from Marcia's site include;

#423 the big Hemi blew engines on day one. (Gary's Footnote, I know the guy who owned and sold this beautiful car and from what I have read it sold for over $50,000 and the engine was supposedly built buy one of the top hemi engine builders around. Although it won it's class several years ago it just goes to show, being beautiful doesn't mean it can win races in La Carrera Panamericana.)

Yellow Porsche zooming around in the parking lot of the Tuxtla airport waiting for the qualifying line to disperse, blew his transmission on day 0.

88 Orange Volvo – trailered in – back in race day 2.

(I don't know which car this is?) 273 Ford – radiator and rock greeted each other, back in race das 2.

375 Green Sunbeam – Day 1 - where the rippled concrete met the asphalt with water trickling across, no traction wheels slightly turned, created a uncontrollable situation and they went off the road over the edge, hitting a boulder and flipping end over end on the way down. Both pilot and co-pilot OK. Overheard pilot saying, “it’s good the top came off, made for an easy exit!” Witnesses to the account said it sounded like an elephant was coming through the woods.

145 Cadillac – ball joint collapsed onto the subframe causing loss of control. They missed a left turn and headed straight into a boulder – no body damage. Back in race day 2.

263 White Volvo – broke down waited hours and hours for pick up. Back in race day 3.

278 Mercedes – veggie oil powered – clutch problems. We stopped to give them a trailer ride. They said they were waiting on their service crew. We haven't seen them back in the race…, yet.


Apple Farmer Team Report

A big thanks to Phil Singher editor of VClassics Motorsport who sent in the following update on the Apple Farmer Team in #290 Volvo piloted by Richard Bailey and co-piloted by Nate Wilson.


Thanks for blogging La Carrera 2008 -- you're the best source of what's
going on I've come across, sketchy though it is. Here's a bit more for you:

Just got off the phone with Richard Bailey, and they've missed a stage
due to clutch problems -- not the clutch itself, but a broken rod in the
actuating mechanism. I think they know how to fix it now, and should be
back in the running soon. Previous problems were with the urethane upper
control arm bushings, which were apparently melting from header heat on
one side -- after two sets of those, they put in stock rubber bushings,
which seem to be holding up fine.


Another Point Of View

Our good buddy Kristin Stewart makes time to post a few notes about this years race on her blog and talks about following the race and the carnage.

It makes me sad when I hear about friends having a bad day while racing but when I read the part about George and Tom having to ride in thier car on top of a trailer with 6 hours left it broke my heart. To know them is to love them and they are truly gentlemen racers.


PS: Karl S., You're a champion rally champion, I am curious how anyone can miss an entire speed section and remain high in the overall rankings. This happened to the same car last year. Can you explain it?

Monday, October 27, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours.... Another Update

Our friends over at Mats Hammarlund Racing who built several cars for this and past La Carrera Panamericana's had this to say about their cars. (Still conflicting reports but at least everyone is trying their best.)

Here is a short race report.

First day Stig had a flat tire on a stage and spun of. He changed the tire fast but lost some time. Later that day we had some fuel pump problems and lost some more time.

I am not sure of the placings for all the days but after the third day:

Beilhartz first

Mockett second

Jorge Pedrero third

Gabriel Perez fourth

Stugemo fifth

Blomqvist sixth

Pedro Garcia (in our little Volvo!) seventh

Today Gabriel lost an engine so I would assume our cars are fourth, fifth and sixth after today.

Paco and Araceli were doing really well (fourth overall) but unfortunately spun of yesterday.

Yesterday Beihartz and Blomqviat were first and second for that day. Sometimes one were a few seconds faster and othertimes the other. Very even. Beilhartz is running impressively fast.

3 more days to go!

Gerie Bldesoe.... A Class Act

I have seen so many racers act like wimps every time they are faced with an obstacle but one man you will never see acting that way is Gerie Bledsoe. Gerie hasn't had a stellar trip. Before he left his back was killing him and the drive from California to the south of Mexico didn't exactly help any either. Then his engine blows up on his brand new race car and he still don't whine about. The next thing I hear is he's helping out several other teams. But now I see him back in a race car with that big "Let's go get'em" smile of his. Makes me happy to see him on the road to recovery Bledsoe style.

FINALLY!!!! The Latest Results

I made some calls and was finally able to get some results and as soon as I decipher them I will post them in a few minutes.



Wow... From what I am reading there is a whole lot of explaining to do. For example, there is ONLY one Historic C car in the top 10 and there are only 3 in the top 20. Considering Historic C is traditionally one of the fastest classes and it is the largest class this year with a total of 25 (three moved to Exhibition) that is unheard of. Even more confusing is 11 of them are in 71st through 80th overall.

One of the more exciting races is found in the Original PanAm Class.

1st Place #405 Porsche piloted by Jan Lammers
2nd Place #433 Ford piloted by Carson Scheller
3rd Place #427 Lincoln piloted by Christian Reichardt

Another tight race is the Sport Menor Class.

1st Place #152 Porsche piloted by Richard Clark and Andy Prill
2nd Place #153 Alfa Romeo piloted by Bob Gett
3rd Place #157 Triumph TR2 piloted by Martin Philippe

Sport Mayor

1st Place #205 LT Special piloted by Sam Burg
2nd Place #219 Fiat piloted by Alfredo De Jalon Rot
3rd Place #212 Jaguar piloted by Byron DeFoor

Historic A Plus

1st Place #280 Alfa Romeo piloted by Ulrich Lanius
2nd Place #257 Volvo piloted by Jo Ramirez
3rd Place #290 Volvo piloted by Richard Bailey

Historic A

1st Place #277 Volvo piloted by Lars Kroiss
2nd Place #264 Porsche piloted by Sebastian Bleekemo
3rd Place #253 Volvo piloted by Luis Barona