South America is where rallying was born. The first 'Gran Premio' of Argentina took place in 1910. These were flat out town-to-town races on gravel roads. The 'primes' or stages were eight to ten hours long.
In the 1940s and 50s the heroes of the day weren't football players or pop stars, they were road racers in their stripped down Chevs and Fords. In 1940 the great Juan Manuel Fangio started his legendary career winning the gruelling Gran Premio del Norte from Buenos Aires in Argentina over the Andes to Lima in Peru. Today the legend lives on and rallying is very much a part of South American folk lore and tradition.
In 1995 TWE ran its London-Mexico Rally, won by Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm in a replica of the Escort they used to win the original 1970 event. So South America is familiar territory and TWE is back there with its exciting Carrera Sudamericana.
Our route is the one that Fangio blazed from Buenos Aires north through Argentina into the Andes climbing to the world's highest capital city, La Paz in Bolivia at 12,000 feet. Across Lake Titticaca, the world deepest and highest lake, over the roof of the Andes to Lima in Peru just as Fangio did.
Our route continues north eventually finishing in the spectacularly beautiful 15th century world heritage city Quito, Ecuador, the second highest capital city in the world.
CARRERA SUDAMERICANA IS THREE EVENTS IN ONE
The Rally is for cars built to FIA specification, Classics up to 1977 and modern showroom GpN cars up to 2-litres - no fwd, no turbos.
The Challenge is a regularity competition in two categories, Classics up to 1977 and modern 4wds. Drivers do not require a competition licence.
Just Touring is for those who wish to follow the route planning their days to take in more sightseeing and leisurely lunches and involves no competition.
THE RALLY ROUTE
It's a 21-day FIA Long Distance Rally crossing Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador with closed road special stages timed to the second. Daily distances are between 400 - 600 kms with two, sometimes three, demanding special stages from 10 to 30 kms long.
The route combines great motoring roads, spectacular scenery and, with planned rest days, the opportunity to spend time in some of the worlds most spectacular, heritage preserved, 15th century cities, Sucre and Potosi in Bolivia, and Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, in Peru.
It's a route designed to please the rally drivers intent on following the traditions of the Gran Premios.
Buenos Aires is where the Carrera Sudamericana starts. A city renowned for its bustle and night life and its famous tango cafes. Arrive a day or so early and learn to tango!
The route heads north across the pampas through cattle country. Beef is one of Argentina's biggest exports. The northern tip of Argentina in Jujuy is where the real romance of the Andes begins. From here the landscape points ever skyward.
Across the border into Bolivia and Potosi is the first of the Andean landmarks. Hemmed in by technicolour cliffs it's an ancient silver mining city and at 13,400 feet the highest city in the world and once the world's richest. Here you begin to get used to the stark white 16th century Spanish architecture which is part of he legacy of the Spanish conquest of this continent. It's a world heritage site.
From there on to Sucre yet another spectacular world heritage town founded in 1538. And onward and upward to La Paz the colourful capital of Bolivia. A rest day is planned here to take in the ambiance of a life style that is truly unique.
One spectacle follows the next in rapid succession. No traffic jams here, just flocks of long-necked llamas with rainbow coloured ribbons woven into their manes are herded along the narrow winding roads.
Then Lake Titicaca, the worlds deepest and highest lake, half of it in Bolivia and half in Peru. Wooden punts ferry the cars across the bright blue water to the Peru side where vivid green algae contrasts with the bright blue water.
Cuzco is a must for a rest day, yet another heritage city, the ancient capital of the Incas and an opportunity to take the famous train ride to the Lost City of Machu Picchu discovered only in 1912.
From here on challenging gravel mountain roads this really is the roof of the Andes. So high that the crystal clear water in mountain streams is fridge cold and the landscape above the tree line is barren like a spooky moonscape. Then the descent to Lima, Peru's capital on the ocean front. The first glimpse tells you that you've crossed this huge continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The route climbs again into the Andes heading towards the stunningly beautiful Spanish colonial city of Quito and the finish of the Carrera Sudamericana.
THE CHALLENGE ROUTE
Designed to follow the same route as the rally with some variations. The concept of the Challenge Cup is to run the two competitive regularity sections in the mornings then with generous time allowances there is time for lunches and sight seeing.
You are free to set your own time schedule, we recommend you follow the rally route making whatever stops and deviations appeal to you. No check-in time is specified for the overnight hotel.
Yes, on all of our events over 30% of the entry are first timers. Determination, common sense and a thirst for adventure are all that's needed. There is great camaraderie, old hands make newcomers welcome and our experienced team of Redshirt Officials are there to help and advise.
GETTING THERE AND GETTING HOME
Shipping your car by container into Buenos Aires is easy. We can suggest good experienced shipping agents in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and America.
TWE's appointed Clearing agent in Buenos Aires will handle all the incoming rally cars and clear them through Customs formalities and hold them in store until you arrive.
In Ecuador the port is Guayaquil and TWE's appointed shipping agent can make all the arrangements to ship your car back to your home port.
Finding a flight to Buenos Aires and one home from Quito is a simple do-it-yourself mouse click. TWE has a list of web sites offering good sensible deals on air tickets.
WHAT DOES IT COST ?
The entry fee is US $22,000. That includes a twin share room with breakfast every night of the event, Personal Accident and Medical insurance for two crew members, 2 tickets to the Welcome Dinner in Buenos Aires and for the Awards Dinner in Quito, two packs of event clothing, route books, rally plates, maps and a whole lot more.
Crews in the Challenge and the Touring Challenge can be up to four persons. The cost for an additional room for one or two people is US $2,400.