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La Carrera Panamericana

One of Nick Mason’s favorite pastimes is auto racing. He (with Lindsay Valentine) and David Gilmour (with and Steve O’Rourke ,their manager) participated in a road race in Mexico called “La Carrera Panamericana” in October 1991.

The race is run over the Pan American highway (LCP in Spanish, hence the title), and is a revival of the same races that were run from 1950 – 1954.

They later released a TV-movie of the car race, directed by Gilmour, with a little “new” Pink Floyd music for backing (including “One Slip”).

Nick Mason had participated in 1990 (driving a 1954 Lancia Aurela B20). In 1991 both Nick and Dave drove replica Proteus 1952 C-typeJaguars. [thanks to the PF Encyclopedia]

“What was the new music in La Carrera Panamericana?”

The video release contains the following songs:

Run Like Hell
Pan Am Shuffle %
Yet Another Movie
Signs Of Life
Country Theme #
Mexico 78 #
Big Theme #
Small Theme #
Pan Am Shuffle %
Carrera Slow Blues %
% credited to Gilmour, Mason, Wright
# credited to Gilmour

The new songs are all instrumentals and hidden under the race/motor car noises, and are not much more than background music to the movie. The general reaction to this movie, which was first aired on the BBC before the video release, can be summed up with the word “underwhelmed.”

“Didn’t they get in a crash and nearly kill themselves?”

During the race, there was an accident. The movie didn’t provide in-depth coverage of the accident, just about the same coverage as other crashes received. Here is a transcription of the voice-over regarding Dave & Steve’s crash (courtesy of Martin Pitwood):

“They went into a corner too fast. Either through misreading the pace notes or whatever and, er, basically took off over the edge of a cliff and landed, I think upside-down, on a small road below. The general feeling seems to be that they are incredibly lucky to have got away with it so lightly. Dave is fine, maybe a few cuts and bruises, and Steve — broken leg.”
Then shots of the car being towed away.

Steve O’Rourke actually broke both his legs in this crash, which happened 12 miles away from the Mexican city of San Luis Potpoli.

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