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Friday, October 30, 2009

Carrera Finish in Nuevo Laredo and a class win for Andy and Richard


Day 7 report
Sorry that this report is a little late. It was a very interesting day that started at 8am in Zacatecas and ended 700km and 8 hours later in Nuevo Laredo.
It's now 4.15am and I have just got back from celebrating an unexpected class win. The car that finished ahead of us failed the post race  technical inspection
and was disqualified.
That's it for another year. I will post a roundup including results when I return the the UK - a journey that will start in around 3 hours!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

final push after Zacetecas

We arrived safely in Zacatecas after another 500km day. Zacatecas is always a highlight as there is always a great crowd waiting and we all have a beer in the 'hole in the wall bar'. Despite the fact that we are nearing the end todays speed stages still claimed four victims. Thankfully despite the serious nature of the crashes there were no injuries.
Richard and I again placed first in class today but unless something happens to our main rival we can't win the class this year. Tomorrow is a 700KM day so there is still a lot of time for something to happen. We will push hard and hope for the best.
Tune in for the final day tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

La Carrera Day Five-San Luis Potosi- Guadalajara


Day 5 Report
Another long drive yesterday but only 3 speed stages. Sadly they claimed some more cars in crashes that left one co driver badly injured and a Corvette reduced to scrap.
The finish was at the Jose Cuervo factory in Tequila were we had dinner and the days trophy presentation.
Richard and I won the class again and no doubt improved our position in the overall standings.
I came  down with a fever so had an early night.
Only two days to go but they are long with a lot of stages. 500km today and 700 tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

La Carrera Day Four


Fourth day - San Luis Potosi
Confirmation of yesterdays performance was a class win and 13th overall for the day.
Today went well and we ran fast in very good stages that again took their toll on the field. There were at least 4 crashes before the service stop this morning.
We know that the only way we can win our class is if the car leading has a problem. We are over half way now with three days left and we will continue to push hard. As we know from past experience anything can happen and it probably will before the end.
Now the crew has another long evening servicing the car. - they did not finish until 1am yesterday as we had tp replace the brake master cylinder. Hopefully they will finish earlier tonight.
Another report from Guadalajara tomorrow (if we make it)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 3 dispatch


Day 3
Sitting at dinner in Quaretaro after a great day. Because of yesterdays puncture we started well back in the field
and needed a good day to get us back where we should be. Sadly the leader in our class will have to suffer problems for us to catch him but anything is possible as we won't get to half way until lunchtime tomorrow.
Starting out of position did make for some interesting racing with us passing at least 2 cars per stage - fast bit fair and quite exciting.
Another long day tomorrow that should see us start in a more respectable position.
More tomorrow


Sunday, October 25, 2009

second day and a bit of bother


Second day report.
Today was one of those Carrera days!
Were won our class yesterday and placed a healthy 16 overall - not bad for a 2 litre car against all of 7 litre monsters.
After a 7am start we did well in the first four stages. Half way into the 21km fifth stage we had a blow out on the left rear. To make things worse. It happened on a steep hill so changing to tyre took almost 10 minutes - no prizes tonight. We will have to wait for tonights drivers meeting to see how bad it has damaged us. There's still a long way to go and it could have been much worse as the tyre blew at around 60mph - in the next stage we were at around 120!!
The highlight of the day was the wonderful reception at Tehuacan (picture attached)
Anyway we live to fight another day.
Another update tomorrow.


Third report
Today was a typical Carrera first day - very long and unbelievably hot. As usual it took its toll on man and machine so it will be interesting to see how many at tonights drivers meeting.
We had a good first day running consistently and doing good times without taking risks. We should have placed first or second in class and also be well up in the overall classification.
After eight hours in the car our service crew (Adam and Jonathan) now face having a very late night servicing the car before tomorrow and its still around 85F.
In the car today we experienced over 120F.
Tomorrow we have an early start and a long run to Mexico city with eight stages thrown in for good measure!


Friday, October 23, 2009

building up to it


Second update

We were out early this morning noting the first stages before the race start on Friday and the qualifying stage this afternoon. As if we needed any reminders of the hazards of the race a Porsche and a Jaguar crashed just looking at the stages. The Jaguar was repaired but the Porsche is beyond it and the driver injured and in hospital.
I have attempted to give and impression of what a stage is like in the attached video clip. Remember this was just us looking at it.
This afternoon we went through in 4 minutes 14 seconds and would have gone quicker if we had not had to pass the car that departed 30 seconds ahead.
Tonight we will find out where the time will place us in tomorrows starting order.
I have a feeling that tomorrow there is going to be a lot of attrition due to breakdowns and crashes.
I will update tomorrow when we hopefully arrive safely in Oaxaca after the first day of the 2009 Carrera Panamericana.
Our crew are now working on the car to ensure that it is in the best possible shape. They are going to need a beer its 92F!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

prep work

La Carrera Reportage Begins

Andy weighs in upon arrival:

My name is Andrew Prill and together with my co driver Richard Clark I am about to compete in my tenth Carrera Panamericana.  

Originally run between 1950 and 1954 it was a round of the World Sportscar Championship in which most of the great drivers  like Fangio, Hill and Tarruffi raced. Abandoned after the 1954 race because it had become to dangerous it was restarted in 1988. The race is for historic cars similar to those which competed originally. Over the years they have become so developed that we are going faster than ever. Car in the big class will do just under 200mph and our car which is in the under 2 litre class will regularly hit 150 on the longer stages.
Following a similar route to  the original the race is a gruelling  7 day 3000KM dash from the South of Mexico to the US Border. To see the complete route visit www.carrerapanamericana.com.mx
We arrived in Huatulco on Sunday after a long flight from the UK and a 12 hour drive from Mexico City. Over the last three days we have collected the race car and completed all of the technical inspections. We have already checked out the first stages.  Tomorrow (Thursday) we have a pre-qualification stage to set the starting order for the start of the race on Friday. Now I am off to a drivers briefing so I will try to report again tomorrow.



Friday, October 16, 2009

La Carrera Panamericana

7 more days and the 2009 La Carrera Panamericana is off to a start in Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Born as a celebratory event in the 1950's to mark the inauguration of the highway that would span the American continent the best drivers in the sport where in attendance.  An opportunity to race beautiful cars on public roads in an exotic setting was lost on none.  Sadly, after four consecutive years and several tragic accidents safety became an issue and the Carrera was cancelled.

In 1988 the event was resurrected with original cars of the era and a modicum of modern safety gear.  Once again the sirens call was heard and few could resist.  After 21 uninterrupted editions the Carrera has drawn passionate collectors and vintage car racers alike.  Such petrol heads as Alistair Caldwell, Alain de Cadenet, Guy Edwards, Nick Mason & David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Mark Knopfler, and Renato Bicciato among others,  have competed.

This year we are fortunate enough to have Andy Prill providing a bit of inside coverage.  Andy won the 2 litre class in 2008 and will be competing in his 10th consecutive Carrera.  Watch for Andy in his Porsche number 152.  For more info on Andy and his spectacular shop have a look at maxted-pageandprill.  We wish him good luck and hope to hear from him soon.