Last week, we figured out something big was about to happen in Piriapolis. Either that, or the summer crowds were going to be more than we could imagine. Workers spent all week putting huge concrete pilings and digging holes for guardrails along the roads of this small town. It took us an embarrassingly long time to figure it out… a car race! A bit of promotional advertising just might do this event some good in the future.
With no better plans and that looming bus to-do list, we stuck around. Friday night a storm blew in. Rain kept us in the bus most of the day, and by nightfall, the temperatures had dropped about 30 degrees (Fahrenheit, MC!). Saturday, we bundled up and headed out for the races.
The course was a closed loop winding around town, with grandstands and plenty of places to hang around and watch. Every 45 minutes or so, they’d open the course and you could run across the street. Sometimes you had minutes, sometimes a lot longer before a car would drive by honking and flying a red flag. After that, the races were on again.
There were 5 car categories; super turismo, turismo libre, formula vee, formula 4 and superescabajos (super bugs!). We checked out the course from a few vantage points. Although there were either guard rails or concrete pilings outlining the racetrack (and yellow police tape about 3 feet behind that) we still seemed dangerously close and it was LOUD! In fact, even with earplugs, the noise bothered Bode enough that on Day 1 he was ready to go after a few races.
We decided with no bias whatsoever, that the superescabajo class was the most competitive. Those guys were really racing hard and trading paint. The Formula Vee guys seemed too worried about scratching up their expensive toys to really mix it up.
Day 2 we decided to watch part of the races from the only restaurant we’d found along the course. Earplugs, soda and a good book and Bode was willing to allow us to watch a few more races. This was an incredible location, right on a tight turn. We had one car under-steer and ram the barrier right in front of us. That will get your attention. Twice, cars missed the turn entirely and went straight into the sand piled up on the street. After the bug missed, his wheel came rolling along down the street about 20 seconds later. Perfect comedic timing.