Creating a New NASA Region

That’s right folks, with the Cuban embargo lifted, we received great news that Sloof Lirpa will take on the challenge of building a new NASA region on the island nation. We are looking forward to getting down to try out the new racetracks in Cuba, many of which are simply street venues and former Russian missile bases.

The initial challenge will be to properly classify all of the older vehicles that occupy Cuba. Once the announcement was made, more than 401 people signed up for the first event! It’s always good to see NASA expanding into new areas. It shows that people love NASA everywhere.

I remember my first NASA experience like it was yesterday. We were standing around smoking Cuban cigars, and Chris Cobetto called my name as the winner of American Iron Xtreme. I was enjoying the folks at the event since everyone was so friendly. This was no fooling around, just clean racing and lots of fun. NASA has always been about great weekends and awesome racing, no monkey business!

“I have never seen so many old cars ready to race,” was what NASA official Jerry Flaherty said about the new NASA region. “After flying down to Cuba to talk to Sloof, I cannot wait to try out the new venues.”

I have to admit, when Jerry told us all about it, I started immediately looking at flights to Cuba to look around. I was surprised that Google earth didn’t have street views already!

Cuba’s Tonto de Abril racetrack.
Cuba’s Tonto de Abril racetrack.

I wonder how long it will be before we are regularly transporting racecars to try out the tracks. Tracks with names like Loco Uno, Tonto de Abril, Hacer el Tonto, just to name a few. In the past, there were boatloads of people trying to leave Cuba. Now we’ll have boatloads of racecars headed to Cuba! I can’t wait to try out Tonto de Abril. It looks insane and loads of fun. It gives a whole new dimension to my “Bucket List.” I hope there are lots of rental cars available so I can try it at speed.

In the South, we have a term for folks who come down from the north. We call them “Yankees,” but now with the addition of Cuba Region to NASA we all become Yanquis! I was born on April 1, 1962, shortly after the Cuban missile crisis, and I never would have bet in my lifetime that I would be on the island of Cuba, let alone racing. It truly shows that times do change and that racing is universal to everything we do.

We are looking forward to watching NASA expand in Cuba under Sloof Lirpa’s management. It should be exciting to see! No foolin’!

Image courtesy of Jim Pantas

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