GT40 Panamericano – A film by Driving La Carrera
Standing on the top step of the podium, Karlo Flores and his navigator Juan Carlos Salgado had just won the Sport Mayor class of La Carrera Panamericana, racing the most talked about car in the event.
Long celebrated as one of the most intense, grueling challenges in motorsports, La Carrera Panamericana is an epic undertaking for teams to safely and successfully complete, let alone win. Racing seven-days and 2,000 miles through the tight, winding roads of Southern Mexico, the race whips across mountains and through crowded, cheering towns on its way up to the Northern border.
La Carrera Panamericana is a grand racing tradition in the spirit of the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, more than seventy years in the making. The 2020 edition was the 35th consecutive running of this Mexican motorsports classic.
“Some drivers said our car is more of a track racer than a Carrera-car. They might be right, but I like to do things differently,” commented driver Karlo Flores. The team challenged tradition by racing a special, one of a kind custom 1965 GT40 replica. It was the first time a GT40 ever entered the field, and no one knew what to expect driving it on the demanding roads the course is famous for.
The GT40 is known for its victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Flores was confident that the powerful wide-body race car could make a strong run at La Carrera Panamericana if he could keep the car on the road and in one piece.
The GT40 piloted by Flores is one of the most iconic vehicle designs to ever compete in motorsports, but the 24-hours of Le Mans is an entirely different sort of race than La Carrera Panamericana. Flores already knew the GT40 could dominate a track run but had to set up his car for the rigors of a week-long road racing event. With no previous GT40 cars having ever competed in the event, Flores and his team entered uncharted territory. It was an opportunity to make racing history or fail spectacularly.
“It is really difficult to push a car to a level that it really wasn’t designed for,” continues Flores. “The GT40 is many things, but we really didn’t know what to expect taking on La Carrera Panamericana. We took the approach that whatever happens, the fact that we took the chance to pursue something that is important to us in competing in the GT40 was what mattered most. That’s a very important feature of what La Carrera Panamericana brings out in its competitors.”
Speed and Endurance
Within the 2,000 miles the race travels are 350 miles of closed-road speed sections were top speeds reach 140 mph. The goal is to be the fastest car in your class. The balance of the race is driven as transit sections on open public roads where teams need to arrive at an exact time or be penalized. Some transits more than 150 miles long.
The combination of speed-section times and transit section penalties determines the class and overall winners. The fastest teams in the race complete the 2,000 miles with a blistering average speed of 80+ mph.
For driver Karlo Flores and navigator Juan Carlos Salgado, their results were history making, with the team winning the Sport Mayor Class in the GT40, marking the first time that a GT40 ever entered the field, and the first time the iconic car won a class of La Carrera Panamericana. Film producers Driving La Carrera embedded with Karlo Flores and his team to document their achievement in the film, GT40 Panamericano, now available for auto and motorsports enthusiasts alike to check out on YouTube. [https://youtu.be/C8mfzaarFz4]
As La Carrera Panamericana prepares to welcome drivers from all around the world to the 2021 race in October, Karlo Flores and his special GT40 will again be attempting to make history with another landmark victory. To learn more about his historic Carrera Panamericana run, visit www.drivinglacarrera.com.
website: https://www.drivinglacarrera.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drivinglaca… Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drivinglacar… – Director: Fernando Cum Marin Executive Producers: Chris Mason and Jeff Mason Producer: Julián Castillo Cabrera Editor: Guillermo Mendiguren Gutiérrez Sound Designer: Lilian Villaseñor