Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Mexican 1000 – race day minus 1

April 28, 2012
Tech Inspection and Other Delights

We headed out in the morning, hoping to get to Mexicali’s bull ring by noon.  The 109 mile route from Jamul to Mexicali was half twisty mountain road (which this Saturday was clogged with a bicycle race) and the rest on the 8 (which was very very warm).

I’d gone over the rulebook and the one thing I was missing was road flares.  I couldn’t find them in Santa Clarita and it seemed silly to order them on line.  We checked gas stations and truck stops, no flares.  Finally while waiting in line at the boarder Rhonda noticed an Autozone.  She hopped out of the car, ran over, no flares.  Then she noticed a Carquest, no flares.  They recommended the Pep Boys down the street.  After running up and down the streets of Calexico, Rhonda returned to the car with six flares.

We got in line behind a Stroppe Bronco and crossed the boarder.

And immediately got lost.  The main street, Blvd Adolfo Lopez Mateos, was under construction.  Our three cars (mom and Patty came down for the start of the race) separated, wandered around the city and then somehow came together within a block of the hotel.  The local traffic made it obvious the race was nearby.

We checked into the Crowne Plaza (sort of) and Rhonda and I headed over to bull ring for tech inspection.  I was a bit nervous, I’m not used to having my sculptures judged on their safety standard and I really didn’t know what to expect.

Getting into line was a challenge.  Driving a finicky old car through a dense crowd can be a bit harrowing.  We managed to get the car in line right behind the Bronco from the boarder crossing and pushed and cajoled the car through the crowd for the next hour.

Tech inspection was a breeze.  They’d noticed we’d read the fine print with proper numbers etc. and were more fascinated that we were running a forty eight year old car with the Toyota straight six engine.  Our flares were never checked.

Overall people were excited about the car.  We finished up headed back to the hotel and then back to the bull ring for the drivers meeting.


The meeting was interesting.  We got the low down on the dangerous bits of the course and that there was going to be a documentary filmed during the race.

We headed to dinner, where we realized we were probably one of the most sober teams around.  Then it was early to bed for the 6 a.m. line up.

the story continues here

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