When I went down to Mexico for my very first LCP it was in 2012. It was all new to me and awesome….and confusing as well. Before I went down, I never really asked Taz how it all worked and now I was there and I learned on the go.
The team is driving South, from Queretaro to Tuxtla today. Between yesterday and today covering 1100 miles. And during that time I will try to explain the basics for those like me in 2012.
La Carrera Panamericana is a seven day race for historic cars, it starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The route can be different from year to year. It goes from town to town from the souhern part of Mexico to the northern part.
Every race day there are transit sections and speed sections. Both are important.
The speed sections are obvious, that is when the cars go for it and race. During the speed section, the road is closed to regular traffic (most of the times) and the cars are started off in 30 second intervals and race one at a time in the order by results from the previous day. There are several speed sections every day. And those are the times which count in the results for the day. Every day the cars race about a 100 km of speed sections..
From one speed section to the next is the transit time. The race cars are sharing the road with regular traffic, they have to stop and pay the tolls, that is the time to buy gas etc. They have a time window for the transit and they are penalized if they are late. The distance covered each day this year varries from 420 km on Day 4 to 598km on Day 7.
Race cars are entered into Classes:
Original Pan Am – cars pre 1955 with very limited modification. You can change to better brakes but the engine must be original.
Turismo Mayor – sedans from the 50’s with almost unlimited mods up to 6 liter displacement- limited to 140 MPH, Studebakers dominate this class.
Sport Mayor – Sports cars from the 50’s large engines
Sport Menor – sports cars from the 50’s small engines
Turismo Produccion – Similar to Turisimo Mayor but with 4 speed transmissions and 305 CI engines- Limited to 140 MPH.
Historica A 4 Cyl cars from the 50’s and 60’s modified.
Historica A Plus – 4 cyl cars up to 1972 with period correct modifications. Datsun 510 and Alfa Romeo’s win this class.
Historica B – 6 cyl cars up to 1972 with period correct modifications. Porsche 911 and the Datsun 240Z are the cars to beat.
Historica C – V8 cars up to 1972 with period correct modifications – limited to 140 MPH. Shelby Mustangs dominate.
Electrico – a new class for Hot newscasters from Mexico City! Not sure how these will make it to Durango without a trailer.
Exhibition – Any car is allowed with unlimited speed! BMW M3’s with 500 HP and 190 MPH speed.
All the beautiful cars and drivers and their navigators you can find on LCP official page
www.lacarrerapanamericana.com.mx under Participantes.
I think that is plenty of information for one day.