Texas Mile brings generations and continents together
By BY MOLLY MEIER - SPECIAL TO THE ADOVCATE
May 24, 2011 at 12:24 a.m.
As the crow flies, Santiago, Chile, is about 4,600 miles from Beeville.
But hey, what are a few miles?
Certainly not an obstacle for Francisco Azocar and his son, Gonzalo in their determined pursuit to become certified members of the 200-plus mph club at the May 2011 Texas Mile.
After nine years at Goliad Industrial Airpark, the Texas Mile will have its inaugural run at Chase Field Industrial Complex in Beeville on May 27 to 29. Participants are competing for firsts in many categories at the new venue.
The 8,000-foot long concrete/asphalt runway is among the fastest and most challenging venues in top speed motor sports. Each rider and driver tunes, tweaks and modifies his or her vehicle to achieve the fastest speed within one mile.
An exceptionally accurate timing team, reinforced with state-of-the-art, triple redundancy equipment, provides each participant with their own coveted official Texas Mile speed slips and subsequent bragging rights. Participants, spectators and media travel from around the globe to attend The Texas Mile. At each event, you will see license plates from across the U.S., along with visitors from Canada, Mexico, Europe and abroad, and as far away as Japan and South America.
Each event brings back many old friends and many new faces that will soon become old friends. TV, video and movie crews, national local newspaper and magazine writers and photographers, online bloggers and every day fans come to The Texas Mile to see, be seen and share the latest news in top speed motor sports.
Last month, Francisco Azocar loaded his midnight blue, 1994 3.6 twin-turbo Porsche 911/965 into a container and put it on a freighter ship in Chile bound for Texas. The shipment takes a month on the water. The car will be ready and waiting when Francisco and Gonzalo arrive in Texas from Santiago for the May 2011 Texas Mile, where both father and son will attempt to set new land speed records.
Santiago, the capital of Chile in South America, has a population of about 6 million in a country of 16 million. The city lies in a lush, flat valley between two mountain ranges and is a diverse, cosmopolitan city center. It's a coveted location, 30 minutes from mountain ski resorts and 90 minutes from beautiful beaches and Pacific Ocean. Francisco explains, "Santiago is a very nice place to live, work and play. The weather is mild without any extremes. I love taking my daily driver, a Porsche Boxster S, with the top down along the shoreline and mountain roads."
Francisco, 61, and his son Gonzalo, 31, share a love of motor sports handed down from Francisco's father who also raced in competitions. Francisco used to travel and participate with his father to motor sports events, just as Gonzalo now travels and participates with his father. Gonzalo started with motorcycle endurance competitions as a little boy. He recently won a national 1/4 mile record when he ran 133 mph in a street legal category in the same Porsche they are bringing to The Texas Mile.
Francisco's highest speed to date in the Porsche is 198 mph in one mile in his native Chile. Francisco, an industrial engineer and IT management consultant, and Gonzalo have tweaked and fine-tuned the 911 with huge twin turbos, high flow heads, camshafts, intake manifolds and exhausts and stronger and lighter weight rods. They have set high performance expectations for themselves for their first trip to the May 2011 Texas Mile.
Francisco and Gonzalo have heard from some of their U.S. Porsche racing friends that The Texas Mile is one of the fastest and most challenging events with some of the fastest cars in the world. Francisco said with a smile, "For us, it's like a candy shop for a small boy."