Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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

Fun, Fun, Fun

We started the day running a 6.3 km speed stage on the Periferico. Edo. de Mexico (a city freeway). I was really looking forward to a full throttle blast down this 3 lane divided road. Unfortunately, there were way too many vehicles to pass. One of the few disadvantages of running up front is that the first (fast) car down the speed stage is a "wake up call" to everyone along the route. There was a police pickup sitting in the center lane about 2 km into the run. I had to lift to make sure I didn't hit him but still passed him so fast I couldn't tell if he was stopped or speeding along trying to get off the course. Next was the current Mexican rally champ in some 4 banger rally car and then some guy on an enduro motorcycle. The rally guy was supposed to sweep the course for safety but I really don't know why the motorcycle guy was running the stage. They released the motorcycle guy a minute ahead of me and the rally car 30 seconds ahead. I caught both of them on the inside of the first corner. The rally guy apologized later saying he saw me coming and slowed to protect the motorcycle rider as I passed. I did pretty good but it would have been nice to have a "do over".

The rest of the days speed stages passed uneventfully till we got to the race track at Queretaro. I had read that Mats Hammarlund team had been practicing there earlier in the year and was worried that I would be at a competitive disadvantage, never having been on the track. So, on the drive down to Tuxtla we stopped by the track and Kent and I walked it to map the braking points, racing line, etc. It paid off - We beat everybody. I felt like a gorilla in a cage full of monkeys. Jorge seemed to have a great time just hanging on and counting down the laps.

We still hadn't made up for the first day debacle but we were getting close.

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