The Pan Am Race or "La Carrera" as it is affectionately called, is a cross-country race close to the hearts of rally race car drivers and race aficianados worldwide. Originally started in 1950 by the Mexican Government as a way to celebrate the opening of the Mexican segment of the Pan American Highway, it ran for 5 years until it was stopped in 1954 due to a high rate of spectator and race team fatalities. Eduardo Léon, a celebrated Mexican race car driver, resurrected the Pan Am again in 1988 with tighter safety and security controls, and it has run ever since.
The Unlimited Class
The Unlimited Class was introduced by race aficianados and friends Bret Haller and Kevin Ward in 2006 with the blessings of Eduardo Leon. The race allows modern cars to race the same cross-country course and participate in the race, albeit with different requirements and rules. This year is the 20th running and has 100 entries for 2007 in the regular, classic car entries and 20 (for 2007) in The Unlimited Class - modern cars (street legal) fitted with safety features for rally driving.
Mini Mania is sponsoring a 2005 MINI Cooper S driven by Colin(son, pilot) and Eric(father, navigator) Herrick. Read more about the Herricks and their previous rally race experiences, and read their race blog here (updated daily during the race).
This year's race runs 3,050 km or 1895 miles. It starts from just north of Guatemala in El Camarón and ends at Monterrey. It runs for seven days, with stops at different towns along the way: Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Morelia, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas and Monterrey.