Saturday, February 28, 2009

Taking a Moment To Congratulate A Good Friend

I would like to take a moment to congratulate our very good friend Doug Mockett on his most recent and very impressive showing at Zwartkops International Raceway in South Africa. If you've never been Zwartkops is near Pretoria which is one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa especially if you are lucky enough to be there when the purple Jackoranda trees are in bloom. Doug drove his beautiful 1961 Cooper T-56, ex-factory FJ car in the Springbok Series which is made up of historic single seaters and had six international entries headed by Doug. The historic single seaters drew a field of over 28 cars for the period up to end 1972.



The six race Springbok Series was to finish off last few events of 50th anniversary celebration of F Junior and Doug made an outstanding showing indeed with two 4ths and four 3rds from six starts ending up 2nd overall!

As you may or may not know, Doug's beautiful Cooper T-56 is the very same model driven by none other than Steve McQueen as seen here by McQueen making the exhilarating high speed drop down through the world famous corkscrew at Laguna Seca.





















When talking about Doug's Cooper T-56 he has been overheard numerous times saying, "It's my favorite car in the whole world." For those of us who have raced with Doug in La Carrera Panamericana and Pikes Peak it's hard to imagine Doug even looking at another car. Remembering that old saying, "It's ok to look but don't touch" obviously doesn't apply to Doug and understandably so. Hell I'd do more than touch it too if I had the chance.


While I'm on the subject of Doug and his "little" car. (Don't laugh... Have you seen his battleship?) here is a photo of Doug being honored with the Koni Heritage Award which was presented by our good friend Mario Andretti right here at our local Infineon International Raceway.



CARRERA NEWS -- NEW STARTING CITY AND REVISED RULES

CARRERA NEWS
February—March 2009





















**THIRTY-NINE REGISTRATIONS ALREADY FOR 2009
**SURPRISE! 22d PAN AM STARTS IN HUATULCO
**CARRERA EXPENSES
**HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS
**AMENDMENTS TO 2009 RULES ISSUED
**FUTURE EVENTS
**THE COYOTE CONVOY
**RETURN TO PIKE’S PEAK
**CARRERA CARS TO RACE ROAD AMERICA
**CORRAL AT MONTERREY HISTORICS, AUGUST 15
**CLASSIFIEDS
**LEGAL WARNING
**CONTACT INFORMATION
**THIRTY-NINE REGISTRATIONS FOR 2009

Eduardo “Lalo” Leon, the president of La Carrera Panamericana, announced this week that thirty-nine competitors have already signed up for the event. That number includes a dozen from North American. That’s an encouraging number given the economic problems of the world.

Mr. Leon and the Organizing Committee are fully committed to having the event this year, in all its tradition and glory! Dates are October 23-29.

Last year the race was over-subscribed with 105 entries. Eighty entries is actually the optimum level of participation.





















It is reasonable to assume that the fall of the Euro and Peso in relation to the U.S. dollar and the poor economic conditions will reduce registrations. However, since the dollar will buy 30% more in Mexico, that will help mitigate the pain for some competitors.

By the rules of the event Canada and the U.S. (North America) are allocated forty entries – Mexico 20 and Europe 20. The North American allotment has been filled for the past four or five years, and then some. Whether it happens this year is anyone’s guess. However, those who have already invested big money in building a Carrera car should be inclined to pony up the registration fee this year, but the recession may have it biggest impact in 2010, if there is no turn around.

**SURPRISE! 22d PAN AM TO START IN HUATULCO!




Where? For the first time we will start way down in Huatulco. (wha-tul’-co) Huatulco is a beautiful resort area on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca. There is really no city of Huatulco, just a series of nine bays, thirty-six beaches, and numerous lagoons, flanked by low-rise hotels. The coast looks like Northern California, however the vegetation is tropical, like Hawaii’s.

Be prepared. Yes, because there is no real city, it will be impossible to buy supplies at a Costco or Walmart. It may also be difficult to find a muffler shop to weld up your roll cage, or other shops for repairs. Just make sure that you have what you need and your car is ready before you arrive in Huatulco.

Huatulco is six hours southeast of Oaxaca by car and served by a small airport. It is presumed that the Carrera racecars will spend the first night of the race in the city of Oaxaca. Huatulco is well off the original Pan Am highway, but it is possible that the cars will transit down the beach to Tehuantepec and then race north toward Oaxaca on the Pan Am highway.

Expect it to be warm, buggy, and muggy in Huatulco, with the threat of tropical storms.

**CARRERA EXPENSES

The only mandatory fees and costs are:

1. Entry Fee. The management of the event does not publish the enter fee. However, you can save $500 by paying your entry fee early. For details, please hit “reply” or call 001-650-867-9488 The entry fee covers the driver, co-driver(s) and the car. The fee will go up significantly later in the year. You may reserve a spot on the grid for a non-refundable deposit of $500, and then must pay the balance actually due at the time of your final payment.

2. Rally license. You must purchase a Mexican rally/racing license for the calendar year. It will probably cost around $300 USD. The license includes a modest amount of medical insurance. You will be given a quick but free medical “exam” before you are approved to race in Mexico Contrary to what the rules say it seems that you do not need to have a racing license from your country to acquire the Mexican license. However, racing experience, training, and practice are highly recommended.

3. Mexican Car Insurance. You must provide proof of insurance on your service vehicle when you go through registration in Huatulco. The cost usually runs between $12-25 a day. There are several vendors, including www.bajabound.com, that broker these policies. Mexican insurance coverage works just like insurance in the USA. Having liability insurance on your racecar is also recommended but not required, especially if you plan to drive it more than 24 hours before the race begins.

The cost of the Carrera is really not bad for a “bucket-list” activity. Where else can you get two weeks of adventure for such a reasonable price?

**HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

Hotel rooms will cost the same as in 2008. Each entry receives one double room (two beds) for eight nights (23 October—29 October). A second room for that period costs $1200 USD. If you arrive early in Huatulco or stay later where ever the race ends, you will pay $150 per room per night.

A luxury option will be offered as well. In certain cities you will be able to book rooms in super luxury hotels like the Camino Real in Oaxaca, which is in an old convent. These rooms are an extra $150 per night. Normally there are four or five of these hotels, and they usually sell out fast. Hotel payments are non-refundable and non-transferable.

**AMENDMENTS TO 2009 RULES ISSUED

The Carrera Office in Mexico City has recently issued a set of amendments to the official rules of the race for 2009. If you want a complete copy, please ask. Here is a summary:

Historic A – “Austin Mini 997” changed to “Austin Mini.”

Historic A – original four cylinder up to 2000 c.c. or modern engine up to 1600 c.c.

Cars with 1600 c.c. may use five speed transmissions

No variable cam timing systems

Historic B – 2.4L Porsche and 4.2L Jaguar, Austin Healey, Maserati

5.0 liter for Chevy II, Valiant, Falcon

Historic C – original or similar transmissions, no straight-cut gears or sequential

No changes were announced for other classes.

All classes will be required to use a HANS device or Leatt brace. HANS is a brand name for a head and neck restraint system.

If you buy your HANS from Wine County Motor Sports, they will give you a free OMP helmet-HANS bag worth $89, free installation of the posts for the HANS in your helmet, and free shipping. They will also install posts in old your helmet for free, if you send it to them.

Wine Country Motor Sports is located in Sonoma, CA (Infineon Raceway) and Juniper, Florida, near the Moroso Motorsports Park. Call (800) 708-7223 to order or go to http://www.winecountrymotorsports.com.

**THE COYOTE CONVOY

Towing or driving your racecar to Mexico? Not racing but want to come along for fun and adventure? Join the Coyote Convoy. It’s free. Here’s the schedule:

Oct. 16 – 9:00 PM – meet in Laredo, Texas (Marriott Residence Inn)

Oct. 17 – 6:00 AM – cross the border and drive to San Miguel de Allende

Oct. 18 – 10:00-3:00 – display cars in San Miguel de Allende

Oct. 19 – 7:00 AM – depart for Oaxaca, spend the night

Oct. 20 – 7:00 AM – depart for Huatulco


There is no cost for participating in the convoy except for the hotels along the way, which are optional, and any group meals.

In addition to the Convoy, there will also be a LCP Tour offered by the former press secretary for the event, Rosa Maria Mondragón Fiesco. This tour is the only way to get close to the event as it stampedes across central Mexico.

With all the unhappy reports from Mexico, it is important for us to stick together on the way across the border and down to the start. It costs $37.00 to get a tourist sticker for your car, plus around $22 for your personal tourist card/visa, both good for six months. You may obtain the sticker for your vehicles at the border, at certain Mexican consulates, and on line at www.banjercito.com.mx.

**RETURN TO PIKE’S PEAK



Carrera cars will again be featured at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb,

July 19, 2009. These cars will race up this majestic mountain with entries from

the Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing Club. This is the second time in 10 years that vintage cars have been allowed to run the granddaddy of American motoring events. They were quite popular last year.

Last year two Carrera cars, a ’64 “Olds” crewed by Doug Mockett and Angelica

Fuentes, and an Unlimited Class Subaru piloted by Kevin Jones, who won the Chihuahua Express, came home with trophies. The dynamic duo of Mockett and Fuentes won the Vintage Division, beating out some local boys from RMVR. Doug and Angie plan to return to defend their title.

The race is 12.4 miles up the mountain--from 9100’ to 14,300’ in elevation. There
are over 150 turns along the route. Eight or nine miles are paved; the rest is
exciting gravel. Off road SUV tires are recommended. The competitors practice on the mountain three mornings before the main event. The views are breathtaking. You must be in the area from July 14 to July 19 for registration, tech, practice, and the event.

The entry fee is $800. Do not register on the PPIHC web site or send your entry
directly to that organization. You can use the official entry form from their website or get one at www.RMVR.com. Make out your check to RMVR and send the check and the entry form to:

RMVR
c/o Tony Martins
6387 South Hill Street
Littleton, CO
80120

All cars must be manufactured prior to 1972 and have run either the Pike’s Peak
before, the Carrera, or the Chihuahua Express. Other vintage racecars may enter as well.

The PPIHC is a professional event, with cash prizes. However, the vintage cars will not be running for cash, only glory.

In addition to the hill climb, RMVR is planning a big vintage car show in Manitou
Springs on Saturday July 18 before the race on Sunday. So get that Carrera car out
of the garage, shine it up, and head up to Manitou Springs (outside of Colorado Springs) next July. PPIHC is a major spectator event, too.

An attractive PPIHC brochure in pdf format is available, if you hit reply and ask.

**CARRERA CARS TO RACE ROAD AMERICA

All Carrera-eligible cars are invited to enter the SVAR vintage race at Road America, Elkhart Lake (WI), May 15-17, 2009. The Carrera cars will have their own dedicated run group. The weekend will include three practice sessions on Friday, a qualifying race on Saturday, and a feature race on Sunday. The entry fee is $475. The cars are also eligible to participate in the longer enduro race. Entrants must hold a current racing license from a recognized racing association.

Check the web site at SVRA.com or call Cal Jensen, SVRA Competition Director at 561-379-7751. Transport of cars from the Left Coast will be arranged.

**CORRAL AT MONTERREY HISTORICS, AUGUST 15

All Carreraistas are invited to the third annual Carrera Corral at the Monterrey Historic Races, Saturday August 15, 2:00-6:00 PM at Tarpy’s Restaurant.

Around forty Pan Am fans gathered on February 21 at Club Sportiva in San Francisco to swap stories and here about the 2009 event. Seattle fans will be gathering on March 10.

**LEGAL WARNING

Like all forms of motor sports, the Pan Am is extremely dangerous. It can also lead to a lifetime of addiction to road racing in Mexico.

**CONTACT INFORMATION

If you change email addresses, please let CARRERA NEWS know. Once you register for the race, you will also receive CARRERA DRIVER, which contain much more detailed information about the race and how to prepare your car.

Feel free to send CARRERA NEWS to your friends and racing buddies. This newsletter is posted on the web site www.panamrace.com.

Gerie Bledsoe
North American Coordinator
La Carrera Panamericana
The Chihuahua Express
677 Highland Ave.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
650-726-9890 (home office)
650-726-9599 (fax)
650-867-9488 (mobile)
gbledso@aol.com

©2009 Gerie Bledsoe

Friday, February 27, 2009

What Could Possibly Be Better Than Father And Son In LCP?

Having been so very fortunate and to be able to look back at so many awesome adventures and experiences in my lifetime it can often be overwhelming. But one of the very best adventures of all was competing in La Carerra Panamericana. Most of us know why and it is so much more than just another race. It's a tradition, it's exciting, it's all about becoming part of a legendary race, one of the most recognized in the world, it's about making some of the most unforgettable friends in your lifetime and if nothing else, it's an honor just having been involved. Combine this with the facts that I got to do it with one of best friends and teammate Jon Emerson and not to mention we finished so well especially considering it was our first time in LCP and it makes it all the more rewarding.




As exciting as all of the above was and still is, all that aside, one of the very best parts of the entire journey was being able to do it with my son Will. From the time Will was a very little boy he was driving/racing something. We have more battle scared walls, furniture, ankles and yes even a few cars, than most people will ever encounter. The point is, it truly has been a special journey of it's own having a son like him to watch grow up let alone remembering all the smiles he has put on our faces and memories I am sure to take to the grave with me.



Not only was Will an intricate part of Team California's Best which was an asset in helping us obtain such a great finish and helping us find our place in the history books but he was so much more. He was my best friend, my confidant, traveling companion for such a long and arduous trip, but best of all WE did the La Carrera Panamericana as father and son. Only a father and son, especially one who has raced as many years as we have, can completely understand the merits, satisfaction, self esteem, and rewards of such an adventure.



While in Mexico I saw a side of my son I had not seen before. He never ceases to amaze me. He spoke Spanish like an old pro which was something I didn't know he could do. For the first time in our lives he was the one playing the roll of being the supporter saying things like, "Now just don't worry about it. Go to your room and get some rest and I'll fix it for you. You just focus on the things you're supposed to." We raced together, we drank together, we laughed together and we even chased a few gals together. Unfortunately for the latter he always got to them ahead of me.




Knowing how exciting all this was for me and other father and son teams before us, I began thinking about my good friend Carson Scheller and a similar journey he is about to embark upon with his beautiful daughter Lauren. That's right... Father and Daugther team. How cool is THAT! It's one thing to take part in a race like this as a husband and wife team and like I already made clear, doing it with your son is something else but when I heard Carson's daughter was Co Piloto for him this year I damn near fell off the stool I was sitting on at the time. To be honest with you, since I have an amazingly beautiful daughter too and one that drives as crazy as Will, (well almost) and having a perfectly good understanding as to all that goes on in LCP, I just can't fathom what must be going on in Carson's mind. Sweet Jesus!


Lauren is the one without the mustache.

What I do know is that Carson and his wife have done a simply amazing job raising what is an amazingly beautiful, extremely smart, multi-talented and wonderfully charming young lady. I have no doubt Lauren will be an awesome co-piloto. I am also sure Carson's car will be surrounded by more autograph seekers and photographers than any other car along the way and justifiably so. If Carson ask me to be a body guard... I'm there.


Unlike most young lassies, pressure of competition is something Lauren is not unfamiliar with not to mention horsepower.


Will Carson's daughter be able to deal with all the craziness during La Carrera Panamericana. Check out this photo and you tell me.


Carson and Lauren's upcoming LCP adventure without a doubt will be one of my top priorities to stayed tuned to and I hope to be able to keep everyone up to date along that journey. I can just hear it all now, "Ok Dad... Right 4..... Left 2.... Long straight.... Flat over crest.... Right Zero... HEY LOOK AT THAT DONKEY OVER THERE!" SCREEEEEEEAAAAACCCCHHHHHHHHHH. LOL! Just kidding. What I would give to be a fly on the wall in that car.


The Scheller Family.

I wonder what the odds are that Will and Lauren could do the LCP as Piloto and Co-Piloto. I can dream can't I.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

LCP Rebirth Of A Legend DVD... It's The Cat's Meow



I just received word from the producers of our La Carrera Panamericana Blu-Ray HD DVD that it will be making it's official debut during the weekend of the reknown Monterey Historics. The preview will be shown at Tarpys Roadhouse which is the same place where last years La Carrera Panamericana Fiesta was hosted by Bill Hemmer and is wife Adriana Robles whom are also hosting this years gala event and from what I hear is expected to be considerably larger than last year. Last years event was very successful and I am really looking forward to having a great time and watching the debut of the DVD with a lot of LCP friends. You can expect to see more here regarding the date and times for this upcoming event in the near future.



If you can, be sure to mark your calenders for this most celebrated car weekend of the year. Come on down and spend some time at Laguna Seca watching some of the most beautiful cars in the world compete in the Monterey Historic Races as well as take a look at some of the most amazing hardware ever driven on display. Tarpys Roadhouse is only minutes away which makes for one of the best ways imaginable for any car enthusiast to spend a day.

You have no idea how excited I am about this DVD and understandably so considering you have not seen the quality and expertise that has gone into it. I will stake my entire reputation that there isn't a single person that will be able to say any other LCP movie, film or video will even remotely come close to being as exciting, stimulating, impressive or sensational as this one. I wont even begin to attempt to tell you what all is in this with regards to racing, interviews, never before seen photos and more but I do know you you better not have a weak heart while viewing it. Borrowing one of my grandfather's old sayings... Its the cat's meow.



Stay Tuned for the Jon & Gary Show.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Ride On The Wild Side (and how its done to perfection)

Many of you will remember our good buddies George and Tom who drove the number 263 Volvo in the 2006 and 2009 La Carrera Panamericana and who also took a ride on the wild side down a mountain side luckily with no serious repercussions. But what you might not know is exactly how that ride down the hill took place. But thanks to our embedded reporter you are now able to see exactly what took place.

video

One Of The Things On My Bucket List

Seeking adventure has been something of a lifestyle for most of my life and it seems my son has many of the same ambitions as I do. However it seems one such life-long dream I have been hoping to fulfill since I was a boy in not one he shares my enthusiasm with. While I did not begin reading Hemingway until I was much older I was aware of many of his courageous accomplishments one of them being the running of the bulls during the nine-day festival of San Fermín in Pamplona Spain.



As it turns out this is also a custom in several of the colonial cities of Mexico as well including beautiful cities such as San Miguel De Allende and Zacatecas. Having truly fallen in love with all of these places not to mention the historical significance of it all as well as the simple desire to follow in one more step of Hemingway's journeys the desire to fulfill the dream continues to grow inside.

In the meantime, Will, my son is beginning to come around and feels he has figured out a way not only to enjoy sharing the moment with his father but also making the running of the bulls worth his while. Here is what he came up with.



These dang kids just have no appreciation for tradition and customs. What is a man to do?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Truckers protest fuel prices in Mexico City

If you think we complain too much about the high cost of gas take a look at this news article. And if you have ever had the pleasure of driving in traffic in Downtown Mexico City just try and imagine what it must have been like there today and pray it nevr happens during La Carrera Panamericana. But I would be willing to bet the truckers would let the LCP Politos haul ass right on by.





MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- More than 500,000 truck and bus drivers across Mexico went on a one-day strike to press for lower diesel fuel prices, threatening more stoppages and protests if their demands are not met and converged on the capital Tuesday to hold slow-speed caravans in protest of high diesel prices and other concerns, the state-run news agency said.

It is the second transporters' protest in Mexico in little more than a week. About 500,000 commercial and public vehicle drivers took part in a one-day strike February 16 that affected 16 of Mexico's 31 states and the federal district, reports said.




Many of those drivers parked their vehicles on highways, snarling traffic and frustrating motorists.

Tuesday's protesters drove around some of Mexico City's major highways at about 9 mph (15 kph) before gathering in front of the national Capitol in the city's central district. Authorities named which roads and streets would be affected and urged motorists to find other routes until at least mid-afternoon, the official Notimex news agency said.

About 300 trucks were participating, El Universal newspaper said.



The strikers want the price of diesel to drop from 7.63 pesos (about 52 U.S cents) per liter to 5.96 pesos (about 40 cents).

In addition to fuel prices, the truckers are demonstrating against toll fees and a special tax and want the government to do a better job of fighting vehicle theft and to stop allowing junk cars from the United States into Mexico, El Universal said.

In last week's strike, about 50 million Mexicans -- most of them bus riders -- were affected, said Edmundo Delgado Ramirez, head of the National Confederation of Commercial Transporters of the Mexican Republic.

Some of you may remember the life and death experience Jon and I had in Oaxaca in 2007 during a teachers demonstration we got caught in while calibrating our rally computer. CLICK HERE What would La Carrera Panamericana be without some excitment?

Racing Loses Another Great

Memorial Services for Larry H. Miller Announced






SALT LAKE CITY (February 21, 2009) – Memorial services were announced today for Larry H. Miller, owner of Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. Miller passed away on Friday, February 20, from complications due to type 2 diabetes at the age of 64.

A viewing will be held Friday, February 27, 2009 from 4-8 p.m. at the EnergySolutions Arena, in the VIP room, 301 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101. Funeral services will also take place at the EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday, February 28 at 12 noon. Interment to immediately follow at the Salt Lake City Cemetery, 200 N Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103. The public is welcome to attend all aforementioned services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Larry H. Miller Charities, for the benefit of women and children in need, 301 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101.

While the list of his accomplishments are many Miller formed a business partnership with Horne to purchase a Toyota dealership in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, Utah. It opened on May 1, 1979 as Larry H. Miller Toyota. In October 1981, Miller bought out his uncle's share in the business. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, he acquired a number of automobile dealerships in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, creating the Larry H. Miller Automotive Group. In 2007, Selling Power listed him as the tenth largest U.S. automotive dealer, with forty-two dealerships and sales of $2,327,000,000.

Anyone Having had the pleasure of using the Miller Motorsports Park facilities will tell testify race tracks do not get any better and the vision and standards Larry H. Miller had set the bar much higher than what most are used to. Gods speed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

If You Must Lose, Only Do It To The Very Best.


Doing well in any sport is rewarding to say the least but to dominate that same sport is a challenge only legends are able to do. There is no great athlete in any sport that likes or accepts defeat or losing but those same athletes will tell you if they are beaten hopefully it will only be by the best there is.

As I reminisce the 2007 20th (XXth) anniversary running of La Carrera Panamericana which Jon and I competed and finished 9th overall in, which by the way was the largest to date with more than 100 teams (20 more than the usual limit) ever run. It gives me great satisfaction to know that we raced against one of the finest La Carrera Panamericana racing legends of all time. I am speaking on none other than Pierre de Thoisy from France. Knowing so much of the history of La Carrera Panamericana I find it amazing to actually put it in writing that Pierre is the only 7 time winner of this amazing race. Anyone that has been involved will agree it is simply an unbelievable accomplishment.



Pierre did not run the 2008 running of the LCP and reports where that was because of a career change. Lucky for Jon and I that we were blessed to have been able to have raced against such an awesome racer and gentleman because now the official reports out of France are that Pierre de Thoisy has officially hung up his helmet and gloves and retired from racing. I find it somewhat saddening that we will not be able to run against him again but on the flip side of the coin I consider it our good fortune to know that we raced with one of the very best there ever was and very humbling as well.

Join us in wishing Pierre de Thoisy good fortune in whatever he does and remembering him for what he was... A gentleman and one hell of a race car driver.



Footnote; With no disrespect to other great LCP champions, isn't it interesting to wonder who who would win between the likes of returning WRC World Champion Stig Blomqvist and Pierre de Thoisy?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

San Francisco La Carrera Panamericana Social

This evening we spent in beautiful San Francisco with many other La Carristias at the Club Sportiva in San Francisco. Our gracious host was none other than fellow racers Che and the beautiful Carienn Voigt. There was more Mexican food and drink to be found there than in half the Mexican restaurants in San Francisco. Needless to say nobody went hungry let alone thirsty.




Club Sportiva is a place that any true automotive enthusiast will find appealing. Club Sportiva is made up of exclusive memberships that have the use of some of the most exotic automotive machinery to be found all of which are driven on a regular basis by it members. Club Sportiva members can also use the club facilities to attend social club events, host their own private events and of course check out the newest models being added to the paddock.


Club Sportiva was founded in early 2003 by former Ford Motor Company employee Torbin Fuller and the flagship clubhouse, based in San Francisco, is over 10,000 square feet and includes a bar, kitchen and lounge not to mention the paddock housing their car collection valued at over $3 million including 20 different vehicles such as Bentley, Ferrari including a Ferrari F430 Coupe, Lamborghini, Lotus, Porsche or Jaguar. They also feature art from a number of well respected local artists which they rotate over the course of the year. Members include legendary racer Mario Andretti, NFL Hall of Fame Raider Dave Casper and Apollo 12 astronaut Dick Gordon. And for those members who don't live close to the clubhouse.... No problem because Club Sportiva will deliver the car right to your door step in their custom car hauler.











La Carrera Panamericana get togethers are always special full of laughter, reminiscing, and of course planning furture La Carrera Panamericara races and events and this one was no exception. Every time I go to one I can't believe how many new and interesting stories I learn about some of the drivers or amazing facts about some of the cars that I did not know about. As a matter of fact tonight I learned the most amazing story of a couple cars that ran with us in 2007 and their historical tributes to the sport dated back the first years of La Carrera Panamericana. Stay tuned for more about that in the near future. What an amazing story that will be.

While enjoying our wonderful dinner we were treated to some amazing DVD presentation of what else... La Carrera Panamericana photos many of which I had not seen before which is always exciting. Afterwards we were blessed with Gerie Bledsoes presence at the mic keeping us informed to all of the latest and up to the minute reports of La Carrera Panamericana. If you ever have the chance to attend one of these La Carrera Panamericana gatherings I personally guarantee it to be an event you wont soon forget and you'll be glad you made it. There were many from all over northern and southern California. One of the best things is that many of us get to spend time with others who we raced with but never really had the pleasure of getting acquainted which truly is wonderful.





Mari Chris finds the one she likes.

Always the gentleman, Tyler helps his date out of the car.



The Volvo Che and Carienn Voigt drove in the 2007 La Carrera Panamericana.


Doug Mocket couldnt stay because he had just returned from a race in South Africa but his car was on display.

Mari Chris had a hard time deciding between the Lamborgini and this Shelby GT500.


No Tyler, you cant drive it. Now give me those damn keys back!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NOT GUILTY!

Some of you may recall not long ago I had an encounter with a couple of California's Best and finest Highway Patrolman. OK, so one was the finest and one was less so. In that post I explained that while on my way to one of my accounts to pick up a vehicle a CHP officer saw me talking on my cell phone, pulled me over and let me go. But during the return ride back another CHP pulled me over and cited me for visual obstructions. SEE OLD POST HERE.



And since today was my court day I thought I would let you know how things turned out. After a few pleasantries with the judge he asked me how I pled and I pled not guilty and proceeded to prove my case. I explained that I was simply doing my job as a professional and at the request of one of my accounts I had been asked to pick up the vehicle in question and find a way to remove the items that were obtrusive and an obstruction in the window on the far right hand side of the passenger's windshield. I also submitted a properly filled out and authorized invoice accompanied with photos (before and after) showing that in fact they had been removed. It was during this time that His Honor began to grin and then he looked at me and said, "Mr Faules... It appears your momma didn't raise no fool." I just smiled and kept my mouth shut. Then the judge said, "It is clear to this court that Mr Faules was only doing his job and the infraction has been dealt with both in a responsible and professional manner." Case dismissed.

He was still grinning at me when I looked back.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You'll Love This...

Everyone who enjoys auto racing will enjoy this video but anyone who has ever raced in La Carrera Panamericana will relate to the part with the cattle and for me having hunted in Africa, the scene with Mnt Kilimanjaro in the background is breathtaking. Simply put this is an awesome video. Enjoy.


It Was Raining All Over The World



Albeit a wet one Nitrus the wonder dog, my wife and I enjoyed the drive up to San Francisco and on up to Infineon Raceway yesterday to watch watch Will start this years series. The action began before we even got to San Francisco let alone the track since right in the lane just ahead of we saw not one but three major traffic accidents all of which were on the freeway at speeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. It was crazy considering there was high winds and pouring like hell. Some people just never seem to learn.



Like I said in yesterdays post Will was DQ'd for being underweight the day before so he had to start in the middle of the pack on Sunday. He got a good start and in the first lap was already up to third place. On the second lap I was shooting a video of him passing a car just before heading into the high speed esses (on slicks in the rain no less) and then he began his attack on the first place car and it was only lap two. Unfortunately he got too aggressive (whats new?) as he came to the rear bumper of the first place car and took a big ride into the wall at speed. (Video too poor quality to post.) He managed to finish the race but not with any great results. All he had to say was, "Probably should have used rain tires ya think?"







On the way back home we listened to the Nascar race on the radio and low and behold it was called due to rain. I never realized until now that Electric Light Orchestra's song All over the world was a song about racing...

She cried to the southern wind
About a love that was sure to end
Every dream in her heart was gone
Headin' for a Showdown

Bad dreamer, what's your name
Looks like we're ridin' on the same train
Looks as through there'll be more pain
There's gonna be a Showdown

And it's rainin' all over the world
It's raining all over the world
Tonight, the longest night

She came to me like a friend
She blew in on a southern wind
Now my heart is turned to stone again
There's gonna be a Showdown

Save me, oh save me
It's unreal, the suffering
There's gonna be a Showdown

And it's rainin' all over the world
It's raining all over the world
Tonight, the longest night


Will takes the lead and wins on Saturday with dry track.



Will demonstrating his new lightweight front bumper.