Our car has had a few changes since the last time I saw it at Chihuahua Express in April. Black wheels and a new trunk lid with spoiler adds a little meanness to our mug.

Tech inspection, co-drivers meeting, and waiting. Day -1 of Panamericana is never exciting, but like all rallies, it’s part of the game.

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I need to start off apologizing for picture quality. The internet speeds are likely to be bad throughout the trip, limiting what I’ll be able to upload.

Ray had loaded the car in by the time I arrived. It was slightly different than the last time I ran it at Chihuahua Express in April. The wheels were changed out for black painted Fuchs and the rear trunk was replaced with a ‘73 Carrera lid. The spoiler should help us stay planted when we hit the 147 mph limit of the car. (Yes, not a typo, speeds get stupid high here at times, generally on stage, but some transits go quick).

A variety of watches are set and ready. I only use the Fast Time on stage, but bringing everything I have as backup is wise. My girlfriend also had me get a nice FitBit with a clock so “I don’t have to wear my watch anymore” at home.

We went through tech and medical checks in the morning, I collected the organizer supplied route book - although I had printed off daily English only copies at home - and set my watches to rally time. I like having backups for everything, route books, timing, fire suit; it’s always better to have it and not need it than the other way around. That is a statement repeated regularly by Ray, and a good mantra for any event prep.

Copilots meeting. Two hours of talking, maybe thirty minutes of information.

After tech I briefly met Don and Buddy before having to split to the copilots meeting. It’s mostly for novices, but everyone is required to attend. They split to two sessions, Spanish followed by English. After heading back to the car the official day is done, letting me snap some shots of other cars and get back to the hotel to rest.

All that’s left is the day’s photo dump and to rest and prepare for tomorrow.

Big ‘ole Chysler.
Nothing screams ready like welding a wheel hub after load in.
Buick prototype.
Field of mustangs.
A very well sorted Escort.
I feel like I should post some more Porsche photos, if not I’m sure a stuffed animal will find a way to attack me at some point.
Studebaker alley.
Our motor, which should look like this after seven days of rallying.
914 with a VW motor.
356 engine compartment.
De la Salamanca’s car. A great Father / Son / sometimes Daughter team I’ve rallied against for several years. It’s always fun trading stage times and stories with them.
Mini and Mustang heading in to tech.
Finishing setting up my “office” for the week. Despite being 6'4" and less than skinny the car is spacious and comfortable and well set up for a week’s rallying.
The last of the stickers applied (minus car number 317) and Ray buttons it up for the night.