My good friend Mats Hammarlund just informed me that he has a couple very talented drivers which will be driving his two Studebakers in this years 2010 La Carrera Panamericana. Michel Jourdain and Harri Rovanpera!
Michel is without a doubt the most famous Mexican race car driver right now. He had a long career in Indy Racing league and CART (Champ Car) including several starts in Indy 500.
He raced full time in Champ car between 1997 and 2004. After joining Rahal Letterman Racing he became a championship contender with several wins and many top three finishes.
After that he has raced in both NASCAR and the World touring car championship.
Right now he has switched over to rally with a group N Mitsubishi. That transition seems to go very well with a win in the Spanish National Championship so far.
Harri Rovanpera is one of the best rally drivers in the world. He competed in the World Rally Championship from 1993 to 2006. During that time he drove for many of the top factory teams. He has 111 WRC starts with one win, 2001 in the Swedish Rally and 15 podiums!
It will be very interesting to see how he handles the transition from the small, 4 wheel drive WRC cars to our big Studebaker.
In either event if someone were to ask me which one I was intimidated by more my immediate response would be one word, "Neither". Having been involved in endurance racing so many years the one thing I know for a fact is you have to finish to win and there is a LOT of things waiting in Mexico to see that you have at least one bad moment which can mean all the difference in the world.