24 October 2008

2008 PanAm: Day 1 of Racing! Tuxtla Gutierrez to Oaxaca

!Saludos Amigos! We raced the prequalification course yesterday - a 6km course just outside of town. Stewie drove and Geezer navigated for the first time in the PanAm. They did really well, drove conservatively and placed towards the bottom of the pack. Day 0 of racing doesn't count for anything, it just establishes the official race day lineup, so it is best to take it easy, check out the car and not get too crazy. Rene, Bimbo and I went out to the speed course to watch and enjoyed seeing 90 some cars whiz by about a minute apart. Some were very fast, some were very slow, but everyone looked pretty good. I stood on an inside corner near a city policeman who was guarding the gate to an estate so I practiced my Spanish by talking at him and showing him a few pictures on my camera of the cars on my team.

VIDEO of Stewie driving and Geezer navigating on the prequalification speed stage yesterday. Also uploaded quick videos of Richard in the Bag O'Nails and Mark in the Falcon on the same speed stage on youtube (user=binkystewart):http://www.youtube.com/user/binkystewart.

Video of Stewie driving on the speed stage on prequalification day, 10/23/08.

Afterwards we returned to the fairgrounds where the film crew for the Europeans was finishing installing cameras inside of Todd's 3 race cars. The producer is Alexander Davidis from Germany and he has brought a film crew of 12 men to produce a 50-minute Discovery Channel documentary on La Carrera, focusing on the pilots/navigators of Todd's cars.

Jorge Arroyo, a long time veteran of the race, is escorting them through Mexico to ensure they get to the good filming spots. Jorge isn't racing this year so he was nice enough to help them out. Jorge was the first person I met on the PanAm in 2005 because Geezer bought the 1952 Ford from him. He told Geezer that he ran that car in the race 6 times, which means this is the 9th run of our motor - only in Mexico! There will be a camera and microphones in each of Todd's cars, and the film crew will also be on the race course to catch the action. Jorge said Alexander is going to make a film more about the pilots, copilots and crew - a human story - rather than just typical racing footage.

Today is the official first day of racing and it is a very long day. The racers will go about 550km total, with a whopping 7 speed stages. Two of those speed stages are over 20km long, which is long for La Carrera. Close to 50% of all crashes happen on the first day. Shawn Hayes, our last crew person, arrived Wednesday night from Minneapolis. The combined crews of TBZ and Mustangs To Go now number 15.

Stewie and Geezer leaving the fairgrounds with mi amigo, Tonio, in the foreground.

Dave and Shawn hard at work.

Kristin labeling Rupert's helmet with his name and blood type.

Rupert AKA "Shag" and his helmet.

The speed stage outside of Tuxtla.

Geezer and Stewie just before the prequalification run on Day 0.

Huge guns!

Todd and Kristin, cleaned up for once!

Simon and Richard - always laughing!

Richard going fast on 2 wheels.


Kristen said...

I can't wait for your next post when things start to rock & hopefully not roll. I guess I don't have to tell you to have fun.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin, have been trying to follow the race on different blogs, understand there is quite a confusion with offcial times etc, sorry you have not posted anything on your blog.