November 2014

Dear Friends:

Oldsmobile October means La Carrera Panamericana - the 7 day 2500 mile rally the length of Mexico - and we were in it again, for at least the 20th time since 1988; maybe even 24 or 25 times.

We qualified 5th (of 84 cars), not all bad. At the end of Day One we were 3rd. Not all bad. But Day Two it rained like crazy - in Mexico! - and we dropped to 12th, better than throwing the 4000 pound Olds off the road and into the desert.

La Carrera Panamericana In my mind this race really doesn't start until Day 5 and from there it is three days of flat out driving. So we bided our time and let others be stars and leaders.

Ms. Fuentes did her usual great job of navigating - she'd driven the entire 2500 mile course the week before, taking accurate notes of all corners and hazards - so we were quite comfortable lying back, relaxed.

Day 7, the last day, and we started 4th overall. By now about half the field had either crashed out or broken down but the top half dozen guys were all ready for the sprint to the finish. Some bad luck by Third Place and we inherited the spot. And then on a speed stage the leader spun out and crashed into a ditch. Second Place was ours! There were still 250 miles and several speed stages to go. The noises from the engine and the car became worse - in my mind anyway - the reality was the car was running just fine. We closed a bit on the leader, an ex-Formula One driver showing us amateurs how it is done, but not close enough.

And ended up Second – El Segundo! We took it - gladly!

Douglas A. J. Mockett