Douglas A. J. Mockett ’63 and navigator Angelica Fuentes once again ran the La Carrera Panamericana, the seven-day, 2,300-mile race from southern to northern Mexico. On day one, the pair suffered a broken driveshaft, ending up 27th of 118 entries. They fought back on days two, three, four, five and seven, finishing third overall behind what Mockett refers to as “two serious pro drivers, former big-time rally driver Harri Rovenpara from Finland who won overall, and second-place Michel Jourdain, a former Indy-Car star from Mexico City.”
Mockett notes he took some satisfaction in being “‘the best of the rest,’ especially since I am almost twice their age! A memorable highlight was actually beating Harri, fair and square, on a speed stage.”
Day six of the race is the day the Mockett name took its permanent place in La Carrera Panamericana history. Mockett and Fuentes ran off the road at the same spot as they had the year before. “There is a good reason Ferrari has not called me to drive for them and that would be called Day Six,” laughs Mockett.
A Carrera tradition is that if a racer goes “off” in the same place two years in a row, that corner is named after him or her. So the turn will now be known as “Curva Mockett.” (Mockett notes Fuentes declined to share in the honor.)
Mockett has been a race enthusiast all his life. He currently sponsors JR Hildebrand in Indy Lites, a support series to the Indy Racing League.
Fuentes is a professional rally navigator and four times Mexican rally champion, three times as a navigator and once as a driver. She is married and lives in London, where she also navigates for other drivers.
The Oldsmobile has “Olds en Nombre Solamente” (Olds in Name Only) across the back of the roof. It has been highly modified with special suspension, a lightweight body, fiberglass fenders, and a 550hp motor, giving a top speed in excess of 180mph.
Currently the owner and CEO of Doug Mockett & Co., a manufacturer of office furniture parts and architectural hardware based in California, Mockett earned a B.A. in English from Hobart College, where he served as secretary/treasurer of his first-year class and received the M.H. Turk Award for excellence in English. After graduation, he attended the New School for Social Research in New York City.
A video of the Olds running off the namesake curve is online.
In the photo above, Mockett prepares for the race last year.