Ready to Race La Carrera - Day 0 + 1

Day two of scrutineering. Photo by Victor Ricardez

Day two of scrutineering. Photo by Victor Ricardez

Today was day two of scrutineering for La Carrera Panamericana. Yesterday our 1965 Volvo Amazon 122S passed its technical inspection. Today we complete the final steps in the registration process in order to receive our racing numbers. 

Ready to Race

Once your car has passed its technical inspection and received the inspection sticker it’s time to wrap up any loose ends on the mechanical side, then take your completed “carnet” inspection card back to the registration desk for final approval. 

While lots of teams were still fixing mechanical issues required to get their car through scrutineering, we only had to finish the installation of the race-required EzTrack GPS tracker. Our lead mechanic Tim Ritchie and our crew from Vintage Racing Services did an excellent job preparing our car which made the whole scrutineering process go smoothly. We had much less registration-stress than I saw other teams enduring. 

With everything complete we were given our racing numbers and OK sticker. We were relieved and proud to have completed registration. We had been preparing for that moment for two years and were now truly ready to race. 

Sticker Style

We hadn’t yet put the Driving La Carrera logo on the Volvo. The rear quarter panels were the perfect spot so we added it there. Along with a shout out to Vintage Racing Services. 

The Carrera organization has a vinyl cutter on-site at scrutineering in order to cut the vinyl race numbers for cars and service vehicles. If you have logo art in the right digital format you can ask the vinyl cutting vendor to make stickers for you like we did. For a few hundred pesos they will make what you need. 

Mezcal had quickly become the team’s liquor of choice and the crew decided we should advertise that, too.

Co-Driver & Driver Meetings

On the last day of scrutineering there are two crucial meetings that are required for every team. Your team will be penalized if you don’t attend both. The co-drivers’ meeting is the more important of the two. 

At the co-drivers’ meeting officials will review the timing and scoring procedures for the race. It is essential that co-drivers fully understand each and every rule so your team can avoid time penalties. The rules are not complicated, but they are strict. There is little room for timing errors if you want to your team a shot at a good class finish. 

Most importantly, at the co-driver’s meeting officials will go through the route books page by page and review all the corrections and changes. Many things change and there are always corrections to instructions. 

You’ve got to focus and be diligent during this meeting to be sure you get all the changes. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a change and don’t let the stewart move on to the next page before you’ve fully understood and noted the change being discussed. 

This is the only time you will receive these corrections! They are critical. If you don’t want to send your team off a cliff because you didn’t know a Right 4 was really a Left 4. Pay attention.

It’s a long meeting at the end of the day. Don’t arrive hungry. Eat before the meeting, bring water, and something to snack on, too. 

The drivers’ meeting, though still required, is less critical. Officials will tell you to be careful, race clean, and don’t speed on the transit sections. Yea, right. As if that was possible. 

Qualifying Tomorrow

After three busy days of prep the car and the team is ready race. Tomorrow is qualifying day. For experienced teams it’s an easy warm-up. For us, it will be our first time to drive the Volvo in anger and fully experience rally racing. Chris and I are nervous and excited  to suit-up to go. 

The Volvo Amazon is ready to race.

The Volvo Amazon is ready to race.