Wednesday, November 12, 2008

La Carrera - Day Four As Seen Through The Eyes Of Bill Beilharz

I don't remember a whole lot about this day. We were close to regaining the lead so I started to think about "dialing it back" on the speed stages. Everyone that I trusted for advice was telling me to slow down.

Then we ran the 5th speed section. It was in the mountains and so foggy that I could barely see where I was going. With trust in Jorge's navigation skills I tried to keep my speed up. I thought that I might have an advantage over the guys behind me. Since I was the first car through the speed section I could be sure there were no cars spun out and blocking the road ahead. I thought that the drivers behind me might slow with this concern - Wrong. When we compared times after the stage it was revealed that Jorge Pedrero had beat us all. Stig explained it away as a young man who had not yet lost his feeling of immortality. I thought I was funny by suggesting that there should be a Masters class for all the old guys who were more cautious. That was until I joked to my young crew members. Tony, all too quickly, pointed out that it wouldn't make much of a difference. With the age of the drivers in this field, there were only two cars that wouldn't in the Masters class. I guess it's only the old guys who can afford such foolishness.

I wrote of my young crew's long racing experience. Here's a "team" picture of Tony and my son, Conrad, when they were 9 years old. These two were already racing wheel to wheel at 70 MPH. Kent was racing motocross about this same time. When I was that age I still had playing cards clothes pinned to my bike to make it sound like it had a motor.

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