La Carrera, 2009

La Carrera, 2009

5 QUARTS OF OIL! Brian shouted into the phone as a Jet landed at the Laredo Airport to bring Murray, Brian and Bill back from La Carrera 2009. 8 days, well over 2500 punishing rally and race miles, class wins on all days but one and a very solid overall event finish of first in class among a strong field of competitors. Yep, it’s true….the only parts the Shanahan-Smith 65 Ford Falcon required was 5 quarts of oil. Not even one per day!! . Yea sure, there were the usual nightly safety checks, altitude tune tweaking, and driver ergonomic adjustments, but the car performed flawlessly as did both Driver Bill Shanahan and Navigator Murray Smith.

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La Carrera, 2008

La Carrera, 2008

The VRS crew has left no stone unturned, the cars are ready and tested, spares stocked and our two big 5th-wheel trailers head south October 14th, with Diego Ribadeneira Sr. and Jr.’s 356 Porsche aboard to level the load. CDL masters Art Gosselin and Don Snow arrive in Tuxtla Monday evening October 20th. Brian Tim, Traci, Kathy and I depart Tuesday A.M. from Kennedy airport only to find our 2-½ hour Mexico City connection window marginally adequate . . .Wow! We make the connection with almost 5 minutes to spare. Mexicana’s fine Fokker 100 whistles us to Tuxtla Gutierrez, our starting city, in a bit over an hour. Job done! Alajuela! Tech, testing, tuning and getting set up for Friday’s start consumes Wednesday and Thursday with ease. Time for a bit of Tuxtla Gutierrez sightseeing before Thursday’s afternoon qualification session, Bill Shanahan and Murray Smith qualify well in the Pepsi Ford Falcon, as do Dave Gussack and Nat Mundy. Diego 1 and Diego 2 Ribadeneira push their Porsche around powerfully and find themselves relaxed ready for Friday’s start.


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La Carrera, 2007

La Carrera, 2007

We have supported La Carrera Pan Americana since 1992 with several VRS prepared vehicle class wins to show for it. 2007 saw Bill Shanahan and Murray Smith up to their tried and true winning ways in their Pepsi & MSD sponsored, VRS prepared 1965 Corvette, along with David Gussack and Co-Piloto Don Rouse in a VRS prepared and built Volvo PV 444. Two trucks, two trailers loaded, spares stocked, cases of water stowed and October 10th finds Tim Ritchie and Sven Eric on the road. Using large semi’s does not work for this rigorous 3000+ kilometer rally . . . The roads are simply too challenging for vehicles of semi size to follow a rally carrying techs and tools that may be needed in a hurry.

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