La Carrera Panamericana (1950-1954) was one of the most famous events in auto racing history, attracting the world's greatest drivers. It was canceled in 1955 because of the cost and concerns about safety. In 1988 the event was revived as an open road race (stage rally) and for twenty-seven years has offered both professional and amateur drivers an opportunity to experience the thrills and challenges of the original Pan Am. Today it is unique in the world—driving at top speed on public highways, mostly through the mountains of central Mexico for a week.
Each year one hundred cars line up in southern Mexico to race nearly 2000 miles north. The event passes though the heart of the country, a string of beautiful mountains and impressive colonial cities. The Mexican Highway Patrol, whose top officers travel with the race, clears the highways for the timed speed runs. Along the way, two million spectators cheer the race cars along.
Each night the race stops in a different city. In a typical year the Pan Am will start in Veracruz and stop for the night in Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Morelia, Zacatecas, and Durango. Except for Veracruz, these cities are at high altitude, so the weather is typically cool and clear.
The Mexican Road Race is always an adventure. Just getting a racecar to the starting can be a challenge. The Pan Am remains a serious test of drivers and their cars, and a major cultural experience. Just finishing the race in Zacatecas or Durango after seven long days behind the wheel is a major accomplishment. Earning a spot on the podium is a huge bonus. It's a lifetime of memories. Join us this year. You may never have the opportunity again.