La Carrera Panamericana 2022, classic cars burning tires across Mexico

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La Carrera Panamericana presents one of the few remaining opportunities to enjoy classic cars at full tilt.

The storied Mexican road rally originally ran between 1950 and 1954. It was eventually shut down following the inevitable human and mechanical wreckage that ensues when rules were mere suggestions and anything could happen. Also fueling the drive to extinguish its first hurrah was the 1955 Le Mans disaster, which cast a pall on virtually all official motorsports events. 

This year’s Carrera marks the 35th anniversary of the contemporary iteration of the event, and a few things have evolved since those heady early days. For starters, it’s no longer a flat-out race to the finish, but rather 2,200 miles of driving over seven days. Of that, 20 percent is reserved for no-holds-barred top speed runs on sections closed off by highway patrol.

The 2020 Carrera Panamericana. La Carrera Panamericana

This time around the course runs from Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico to the city of Durango in the northern part of the country. “Because the roads are more crowded now with a lot of construction, we have speed features where there are few cities with people,” explains Karen León, La Carrera’s global director. She says the event’s top priority is safety, with tech inspections ensuring roll cages and helmets are present in all competing cars, and law enforcement maintaining road closures during high-speed sections. León also adds that the official top speed record of 192 mph was recorded by a 1950s Oldsmobile in the northeastern state of Monterrey.

The 1950s Carrera Panamericana. La Carrera Panamericana

Source: Robb Report Carrera Panamericana

Mexico Daily Post