22 October 2010

2010 LCP: Day 0 Prequalification and Getting Ready For Day 1

Today we begin!  Yesterday's prequalification went well, though a few of us stayed behind to clean up the paddock at the fair and load the truck.  After the drivers' meeting last night Thierry said 7 cars were "out" as of the prequalification at the track in Tuxtla.  Not exactly sure what that means, likely a few spinouts, minor crashes and mechanical trouble.

Another friend of ours, Gustavo Robles and his father, are having motor trouble, having "broken the seals" twice in two days, assuming he means the head gasket.

This year's field of race cars is huge and it feels very crowded.  We are ready to go, to move on, to get this party strung out along the miles!

After Day 0 Prequalification:
Thierry and Eric placed 13th overall and 4th in Historic C.
The Greenwood Hermanos placed 41st.
The Lawrences and Dave Fuss placed 46th.
Rene and Geezer placed around 85th.

Top 5:
1st Bill Beilharz  (my favorite to win)
2nd Michelle Jourdain
3rd Alejandro Pimentel
4th Jorge Pedero
5th Harri Rovanpera

The timing seemed a bit wonky but it is hard to tell.  For instance, former overall winner from 2006 Pierre de Thoisy is listed at 46th place.

I also received a link to the GPS that each race car is supposed to have mounted.  You can track the race cars here:
User Name:  lacarrera
Password: carrera2010

Right now maybe a third of the cars are listed so hopefully more will come online later as they get connected.

Today will be a very long day, either in race cars or service trucks and it's an early start at 7am, just a few minutes from now.  We are down around 2,000 feet in elevation in the jungle and we need to climb a several steep and curvy mountain passes to get out of here.  Oaxaca is around 5 or 6,000 feet high and there are many miles between here and there.

Buena suerte to everyone, and hopefully racers can calm their excitement and nerves and keep the shiny side up.  Today, Race Day 1, 42% of all accidents of the race on average happen in the morning.  Rene and I are a testament to crashing on Day 1 as we went off the road on Day 1 in 2007 during the second speed stage of the afternoon.

It is so nice to see everyone here....smiling.....excited....renewing friendships, getting ready for the official start of the big adventure.  Of course it takes an incredible amount of time, money, grit, and flexibility just to arrive at the start, and now the endurance piece really kicks in.

I've met so many great new people already.  The locals were fabulous, the kids flock the fairground to see the cars, collect postcards, and wash cars to make some money.  Miguel, a local 13-year old, returned this year wearing his Lucha Libre tshirt, faded and well-loved.  His father is a sign painter and keeps busy adorning helmets with the LCP crest, names, blood types, etc. as well as large and intricate maps of the LCP.  He will paint anything you can dream up - it is amazing.

The painter's family.  Land O'Lakes graciously sent donated childrens clothing and they were very appreciative.
Geezer, K and Rene feelin the love on Day 0 before qualifying.
El Jefe, lean and mean and ready for 2010.
Brothers Ben & John Greenwood - these guys are a gas!
Todd tweaking on the Bag O'Nails with Eric looking on.
I haven't met this crew yet but I love their mantra:  BREATHE DEEP * SEEK PEACE * FLY HIGH.
I started the day with a breakfast of New Mix (tequila plus lime soda) and a can of salchicas (cocktail weiners).
Getting the trucks, trailers and race cars washed upon arrival in Tuxtla.
Smart puppies found the shade at the fairgrounds.
Crazy Ben and John Greenwood getting the Gypsy Wind past tech inspection.
Love his Ramones shirt and he wasn't shy at all to pose for me.
Following Todd back to the hotel....we thought we'd take a shortcut.  Bad idea.  I had the GPS, he had his memory from a taxi ride.  Here he is taking the wrong turn but it enabled me to get this cool photo.  We got it the second time around after a 15 minute u-turn.
Home Depot - we loved all the Christmas decorations, especially the Santas who sang, "Let It Snow."  We were searching for some pipe we could use to fortify the rollbar as it did not quite pass tech inspection.
Junkyard dog.
We were pretty sure this guy would have pipe Todd could use...he didn't but we made friends with him and he told us how to get to a hardware store across town.
Close but not good enough for rollbar material. 
Finally!  Rollbar material - an old shovel Todd bought from an older woman for $5.  They had a 1965 Mustang project in their yard.
The scene at the fairgrounds - Bag O'Nails, Gypsy Wind and El Jefe.  We were grateful for the full shade.
Eric and Thierry enjoying lunch.

A hopeful modification to the Baja Bound logo.

The Bag O'Nails and Eric going through tech inspection.
Thierry proudly models his custom suit with Todd's trademark offset Shelby stripes.  He asked if he should wait until the last day to wear it and I replied, "If you do, you'll look like a beginner when you cross the finish line in a shiny, new suit!"
Miguel's father, the race car and helmet painter.
Hazael, Antonio, Bimbo and Hugo - Zacatecas Hombres.
"We'll see you in Zacatecas!"
Please please please keep this Corvette pretty (i.e. put it back in the trailer).
The details on Stewart & Linda Robertson's new paint are incredible.
The updated interior of El Jefe - far different from how it was in 2006 when we started.
Rene Rodriguez and Tom Overbaugh
Rene, always smiling, and Geezer, head to the track for Prequalification on Day 0.
I don't think Ben meant to flip me off but then again......
The Mats Hammarlund crew.
Twin mechanics work on the twin 270Z.

Michael, of Lucha Libre Racing, who delivers tons of school supplies to kids, chats with his old buddy, Miguel. Love Miguel's old worn out Lucha Libre tshirt! Michael met Miguel in 2008 here in Tuxtla.

Brothers Steve and Jim Lawrence.

1 comment:

annick said...

many thanks for the news ...... Annick de Latre