Friday, February 15, 2008
Meet our buddy ENRIQUE CORTES!
If you are anyone you know is considering the La Carrera Panamericana and ESPECIALLY if this is your first time have I got a best kept secret for you.
After the long drive to the south of Mexico we found our temporary home in Oaxaca and the very first person to greet us the following morning was Enrique Cortes. With his great big smile and friendly personality we hit it off right from the start. Little did we know that morning but before the La Carrera was over we would have a new team mate in Enrique and what has turned out to be a friend for life. Not only is Enrique a business owner in Mexico but he's a wonderful family man as well.
Enrique has a purpose built truck and trailer that he built himself that is self contained with literally everything and anything you could possibly need during this race. Not only does Enrique speak both fluent Spanish and English but in fact he has years of automotive and racing expertise. I have personally watched him work and not only is he quick, knows what he's doing and can weld anything like the pro that he is. His trailer is as awesome of a setup as you will ever see. He has welders, generator, cutters, tools, materials a virtual machine shop on wheels. If that isn't enough his trailer is also set up with a miniature go-kart which he uses to run and find parts at local parts stores and so on. He is a real go getter and he moves like a bolt of lightning so you don't have to wait around.
Enrique offers his services to anyone during the race but my recommendation for any first timer headed to run La Carrera is to contact him and make arrangements for him to become part of your team. One of the advantages for us was that while Jon and I were in the race car during the day, Will, our crew chief, was able to team up with Enrique to get to the next stage on time. Since he is from Mexico and knows all the roads and the people it was extremely comforting knowing he was with us let alone in the event we needed something he could make it happen. If it's expense you are worried about worry no longer because anyone that gets hooked up with Enrique before the event will be surprised how affordable he is. Trust me on this one.
If you are interested drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you in touch with Enrique. I know one thing for sure, the next time I go he'll be on my team. Having the peace of mind he brings to a team is one of the best possible things you could ever ask for while in Mexico. You can't help but love this guy and there were times that we left our entire trailer and car with him at night so we never had to worry about a thing.
The day we had to say fairwell to Enrique was a hard one and we can't wait until we meet again.