The latest from La Carrera Panamericana


For those of you following La Carrera Panamericana – I know we have some Mexican readers in the UK and some fans who know Jo Ramirez from his time in Formula One – the news is not so good with two days to run.

Yesterday was a dreadful day for the Ramirez/Cruz Volvo which had been holding second place in the ‘Historica A’ class. Jo and Alberto have had problems with the normally reliable car and yesterday they were unable to take part in some of the stages on the route from San Luis Potosi to Aguascalientes. Mechanical troubles dropped the Mexicans down the field to 91st place overall and any hope of repeating last year’s victory has evaporated.

Today Ramirez will be flat out to pick up some places on the spectacular stages from Aguascalientes to Zacatecas. Still running in the top five in their class, the guys have just two days left to haul the blue and white Volvo back into the top fifty. Tomorrow the Carrera finishes at Nuevo Laredo on the coast at the northern edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile the big Studebakers hold on to the top three places with Stig Blomqvist taking over the lead, followed closely by Doug Mockett and former leader Jorge Zardain. It has taken time for the former world rally champion to get into his stride but the great Swede is now poised to win the 2008 Carrera – but anything can happen, and often does, on this the most unpredictable and demanding road race in the world.

Whatever happens over the final two days Mr Ramirez will want to be back in Mexico City, and in front of his TV, for qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday. He will want to see the McLaren team get this one right, as they so often did when he was in charge. A big week, and a big weekend.

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