Exclusive Updates From La Carrera Panamericana 2008

The La Carrera Panamericana is one of the world’s great historical rallies. Based on the original Mexican road races of the 1950s, which saw guys like Herschel McGriff and John Fitch fly through Mexican villages in cars ranging from Mercedes SLs and Ferraris to Porsche 550s and Lincoln Capris, the modern event takes a similar flair for the dangerous and crazy.

The Four Wheel Drift is actually receiving constant updates during the seven day rally from the team of Joel Eisenberg (pilot) and navigator Marcia McCraw. This is the same Marcia McCraw who is the Republican candidate (yet is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-medical pot, and obviously, pro-sports car) for Washington State’s Lt. Governor position in the upcoming election!!! The Eisenberg/McCraw team is running a 1964 Jaguar E-Type coupe. If the normal course through choppy, winding roads isn’t tough enough, Eisenberg is running the entire race with a walking cast on his clutch foot.

And with all due respect to Mr. Eisenberg…I’ve known him for nearly 38 years, and he’s a scary enough driver with all his hands and feet in perfect working order!

So how is team Hobble and Lt. Gov doing? You can get real-time GPS information (www.globster.com.mx Panamericana link, and enter car no 349), plus here are exclusive updates from the driver:

}}}Wednesday 3:20PM: We left this morning for Mexico. We’ll be driving a grueling 7-day race, starting Saturday, going from near Mexico’s southern border to the Texas border. There will be over 100 cars starting at 30 sec intervals. Usually, only about half the cars finish. I’ll be driving with my left foot in a cast and Marcia will be navigating. We’ll be driving the same 1964 E Jaguar that I drove in the Chihuahua Express in March. The rally/race takes place on public highways. There are long sections with unlimited high speeds on which the roads have been closed to all traffic, followed by timed sections as we transit cities and towns where there is other traffic on the roads

Some friends will probably join us en route to watch, cheer, and participate in the daily after-race fiestas. You can follow the race at this website: http://www.lacarrerapanamericana.com.mx/

I understand that there will be GPS units attached to each car so that you can see on the Internet where every car is, their speed, etc. We have a video camera installed and will try to send raw footage each evening to Sam Barer who will post our progress on his blog. To follow our progress either go to the above PanAmericana site or to https://fourwheeldrift.wordpress.com

Hopefully, we will be able to attract some attention to Marcia’s Lt. Gov campaign as she would like to see the state play host to similar road races and Grand Prix races while her opponent is a lobbyist for interests trying to get multimillions of public funds for a NASCAR track that has been voted down twice by the legislature.

7:25AM Thursday: Carrera is off to a good start. Wednesday Mexicana lost our reservation our bags went to Tuxla we got stuck in Mex city. Stood by 4 6 30 am over booked flight.

Survived medical with cast. Didn’t have to have it cut off. On the Speed Trial, the Odometer failed, we got lost and missed 6 km speed section. Now in drivers meeting Been up since 4:30 am. We need sleep!!!

7PM Thursday: 103 cars starting, and typically we lose almost half. Wish us luck
We. No 349. Historic B class.

Today there was much construction in transit stages Weather warm car very hot Hopefully cooling suit will work tomorrow.

5AM Friday: Diagnosis. Coolant overflow tube split still waiting 4 assistance!

7:30AM Friday: First breakdown enroute to start! We have an oil leak. Smoke all over!!!
I must learn to disconnect cooling vest before bailing out. Waiting for mechanic.
Amazing how fast we can bailout even with the cast.


3 Responses to Exclusive Updates From La Carrera Panamericana 2008

  1. Wow. As the owner of an E-type I have to say it is the last car I’d pick for a rally of that sort. Not that I don’t LOVE my E-type and don’t hesitate to pack it up and drive it for 10 days straight. (see my website for plenty of evidence of that!) It is just that my impression of the La Carrera Panamerica was that they had a lot of unpaved roads. Something with a more truck-like ride would be better. 😉


  2. Chuck,
    The E-Type in which Joel and Marcia are racing has been totally modified. When Joel raced it last spring in the Chihuahua Express, he mentioned many of the modifications. With appropriate mods, I suppose the narrow track and long wheelbase might actually help in negotiating some of the harder sections, although most (if not all) of the modern Carrera are groomed roads.

    Joel is a long-time Jaguar fan. He has owned an RGS Atalanta C-Type for about 25 years. Like a Lister, this is a custom-bodied racer (his has a very rare aluminum body — most were fiberglass) built around Jaguar components, such as the C-Type-headed MKVII engine.

  3. Tish Johnson says:

    You go Joel. We are enjoying cold, dry weather up here and follow your excitement daily. I have the entire office checking in! Jack has done the Baja 500 and 1000 several times back “in the day” riding for Harley. He is enjoying following also. Home for the Holidays???

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