Monday, April 14, 2008
Don't kid yourself, it's NOT a rally.
If anyone tells you that the rally type format used in La Carrera Panamericana or the Chihuahua Express is not really racing do me a big favor and kick them square in the Cojones! In this weeks running of the Chihuahua Express over 55 cars started but on the last day a friend wrote they only saw 27 finish. Now anyway you look at it that's not a race for sissys and no it's not because they stopped somewhere for cocktails either.
A friend wrote telling me that possibly I shouldn't write about the high attrition because some people might not like it. That's like talking about a boxing match without anyone getting hit. Racers know there are risk and that's a risk they accept. Quite the contrary, if I didn't talk about attrition it's possible someone reading my blog or others like it might not fully give safety equipment the full benefit of the doubt. Folks, THIS IS SERIOUS RACING and not just another Sunday drive. The only reason these people are alive to talk about these wrecks is because they know the risk and THEY TOOK NOTHING FOR GRANTED.
Two of the cars above are toast, literally, and they are both good friends of mine whom we met at last years La Carrera Panamericana. Had they taken even the smallest safety items for granted I may very well have not been able to write this entry. Thank God they are safe. After looking at the photos above you can see why we are so concerned about them.
The 1953 baby blue Studebaker driven by Lars Stugemo of Sweden and his co-piloto Filipe Argueles of Mexico took a dive into a drop-off ravine after rolling.
Englishman Joe Harding and Co-piloto Paul Lisec took a trip to Hell (fire and all) in his beautiful 1963 Falcon Sprint. Joe is now back in the U.S. with what might be a broken ankle. Talk about heat, note the seats in Joe's car are completely burned away only minutes after the fire began.
Both Joe and Lars are very competitive drivers who have our respect besides the fact that both are fine gentlemen we are proud to call our friends not to mention both had outstanding cars we loved. I hope both teams will be able to pull something off soon since both are already entered in this years La Carrera Panamericana.
Ironicly, the white 1953 Studebaker with the red flames painted on the side belongs to Chris Sayler. Chris has run in previous La Carrera Panamericana's and based on photos of previous experiences he has had I can tell you he knows just how important safety equipment is including a good roll cage.