24 October 2009

2009 LCP: Day 2 Oaxaca to Mexico City a looooong day

Our morning started out leaving Oaxaca and tackling a very windy, mountain road......following a rickety old pickup with cows swaying and pooping on every corner. Never a boring moment in Mexico.

Coop and Gerie at the early service.

Albert and Fernando.....always smiling.

Stewie and Geezer.

The Manheim Steamroller - unrecognizable from yesterday's completely bashed in rear end!

Ralph's snack of champions - chips and some kind of chocolate candy wafer sticks.

Coop wrestling with his Hans Device.

The duct tape racing strip covering up Todd's successful effort with the hammer to flare the wheel wells.

Gerie's been in the air before, rolling 8 times or so on La Bufa in 2005. So I guess this isn't a joke.

Todd and I truly enjoy the endless variety of bicycles in Mexico.....and their riders.

The always colorful Lorrainne and Duane in the #349 Jaguar.

Fernando - our rock star.

The Mini at the start of a mountain speed stage.

That's my man!

Okay, so no surprise that I wanted to take all of these puppies home. So sad.

Geezer after El Jefe's clutch gave out and we picked them up and put the car on the trailer for the 2 hour ride into Mexico City.

The route book had excellent turn-by-turn directions to get into the heart of Mexico City but we monitored the GPS just in case. But once we got to the hotel without making any wrong turns (in the dark and the rain) the cluster F was just beginning. Our hotel was located in the heart of the technology center so even though it was Saturday night, the area was pretty quiet. But the chaos that is La Carrera was in full swing. No one knows where to go or what to do, where to park, what time the driver's meeting is....everyone has a different story.

We had called ahead to Rene, Bimbo and Hugo who had been at the hotel for hours, to save us a spot for truck and trailer and tell us where to go but when we arrived at the hotel we could not find them or get ahold of them on the phone. Evidently the hotel had underground parking for the race cars but no room for trucks. And there wasn't enough street parking for our big rig.

Todd unloaded El Jefe and with seemlingly simple directions in Spanish from the bellhop the two of us set off to find the truck and trailer parking lot which was supposedly 5 blocks away. We traveled several miles, did a few loops and could not find it so we returned frustrated to the hotel. It's not exactly easy to do U-turns and maneuver on side streets in a truck and trailer. And it's night time, and it's raining, and we are in Mexico City. Back at the hotel we got different directions the second time and still could not find it. After an hour and a half, exhausted and extremely cranky, we were finally lucky enough to bump into Bill Richert who jumped in the back of the truck to lead us to it. It really was 5 or 6 blocks away but in the dark and rain and with tired eyes, easy to miss. It was a large dirt parking lot and true enough, there was plenty of space for everyone. But we were upset to see the TBZ crew there hanging out while we had towed their car in and spent almost 2 hours in frustration trying to find the parking lot.
Coop, after a few happy hour drinks, shows us his colorful underwear. Sweet.

Gerie - fired up in Mexico City!

We dropped the trailer and circled back to a pub near the hotel as Bill had told us he saw Gerie and Coop there downing a few drinks. Todd ran inside to tell them we needed the car and we followed them in the Durango Deuce II into the parking garage. In the hotel I was hoping to get some food to bring out to Todd and while ascending the grand staircase in the lobby I spotted Fernando below. He held up a DVD case in his hand with a giant smile and I saw that it was a copy of GT Racer! I got excited thinking that Alexander Davidis had somehow FedEx'd a copy of the Discovery HD film he made of us from last year's race as it was just released a few weeks ago. But Fernando said, "No! Alexander is here!"

I raced up to the ballroom where the driver's meeting party was in full swing. GT Racer was playing on a giant screen and it wasn't hard to find the uber-tall and handsome Alexander. I ran to get Todd and we were both very excited to see Alexander! It was the perfect addition to an otherwise long day with a difficult and lengthy arrival at the hotel. Todd, Fernando and I hugged Alexander, told him how much we loved the film and learned we could purchase copies of GT Racer. We got him to sign our copies and beamed ear to ear. He had booked a last minute flight to come to Mexico City with a backpack full of DVDs and was equally excited to be there.

Filmmaker Alexander Davidis, specializing in vintage auto racing, autographs our first copies of GT Racer's Discovery HD documentary of the 2008 La Carrera.

Todd, Alexander, Kristin and Fernando.
Gerie crawled inside his pickup bed to do a little housekeeping.
So we are working in a typical high-rise hotel parking garage. Concrete floors with patches, nothing alarming about that but........

......I noticed a hole close to where we were working. I put my hand in the hole and was a bit surprised to understand that the total thickness of the floor was only a couple of inches!

And you could see clear through to the floor below - crazy!! Hope there aren't any earthquakes in the next 12 hours.

Todd works on the Durango Deuce II late at night.

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