I found this video from the 2007 La Carrera Panamericana today and I remember that moment in time as if it was just 10 minutes ago. This was the morning we were about to qualify Lucky for the starting positions for the start of the 20th anniversary running of the 2007 La Carrera Panamericana. For me it was the very moment that would bring everything to it's fullest fruition in light of all we had prepared for over the last two years. This was do or die.
Everything seemed to be at the ready and we were as ready as we could get or at least that's what I thought until the split second that Jon said something to the tune of, "Holy crap, those cars are moving fast. We better get our ass's in the car and buckled up right now." As I got in and began buckling up it began to sink in that we had never been in a situation where we had to rush to get ready. As soon as we climbed in and began trying to reach our seat belts, get our communications devices plugged in and tested, have the route book in hand and so on it immediately sunk in that from now on we really needed to start getting prepared much sooner.
In retrospect I really have to laugh because if you watch the video I was almost ready when it dawned on me I didn't know where to stick my window net. Now normally all I would have had to do was call someone over and ask for a hand lining it up. So here I was with my full face helmet muffling my voice while trying to yell loud enough over the sound of other race cars and waving my hand to get someones attention to come over and help me. That's when Jon comes over the intercom and says, "Don't forget they speak Spanish here."
In a last second attempt I was able to get the window net up, gloves on, engine fired up and ready to go and everything worked out just fine or so I thought. That's when I realized I had left my steering wheel on top of the car. The good news was not only did Lucky perform flawlessly but in fact Jon and I were very proud of our performance not to mention greatful for the lesson learned which was you can NEVER get ready too soon. So if you are planning your first La Carrera Panamericana my advice to you is add this to your list of things to practice. Make sure you know where to lay your gloves so you can reach them after you fasten your helmet straps, get the window net in place "by yourself" and so on and do this long before you get to Mexico so that everything you do is second nature.