The Mexican classic car restorers from VP Garage had quite a challenge during the last Carrera Panamericana race. They had to ensure all the supported classic racing cars would reach the finish line after a grueling week that demands everything from the oldtimers. The cars were driving flat out across mountain roads, desert plains and rain forest and racers, amateur and professional, met to take on one of the greatest motorsport challenges on earth. For the past seven years, Motul has been the official lubricant partner of the Carrera Panamericana. We talked with Sergio Perez, owner of VP Garage, at the event.
VP GARAGE: SUPPORTING CLASSIC RACE TEAMS AT THE ICONIC CARRERA PANAMERICANA
Sergio, what does VP Garage do?
We're a rally team and we’ve been going 15 years. We're fully committed to rally: we take care of national and regional championships, the WRC when it takes place in Mexico, and obviously the Carrera Panamericana and Chihuahua Express. The Panamericana is the cherry on the cake, being the most anticipated race of the year. In the workshop, we have 10 mechanics as well as a bodywork team that's located in a separate warehouse, and a team of engineers who assist us.
How do you benefit your participating clients?
For each race, and particularly the Carrera Panamericana, we hire a bigger staff. This year, we have 22 people taking care of four cars belonging to our clients. However, not all 22 of them are mechanics. There's also a team of coordinators, a logistics team, and a cooking team. The mechanical side of things is very important but having a place to eat and sleep is crucial. Each car has three mechanics, and they split up the work. Of course, when one of the cars is clean and ready to go, that team of mechanics supports the others to get all the cars ready.
What is the benefit of a partner like Motul in this rally?
The technical support team from Motul in La Carrera Panamericana is taking daily oil samples of each car to analyse the data and make sure that each engine is performing properly and using the correct oil. All engines are different. We have three cars with different engines: a Wankel rotary, a big V8 and an air-cooled Volkswagen. They all work at different temperatures, and all are very different from each other, therefore with this data we can make sure that the lubricants that we're using are the best for each car. This is a plus for us, to keep the cars working at 100% performance. We travel many kilometers a day, from 700 to almost 1,000kms, with constant humidity, altitude, and temperature changes, so having this data and technical support allows us to have our engines working at their top performance.