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NAADA Journal: Spain Leads USA

Published: September 5, 2018 6:50 pm ET

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Four members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association have traveled to Palma de Mallorca as guests of their Spanish counterparts, and will compete in a friendship competition this week.

The following is a first-person account of the first day's events on Wednesday (Sept. 5) by NAADA president and participant, Joe Faraldo.

The warmest day of the year with races at the unusual distance (for us) of 2,150 meters at the beautiful facility called San Pardo began the first installment of NAADA vs. Spain Friendship Competition.

Despite the beauty of this 1,000-meter oval, the day was about to get even hotter for the Americans.

The first of the two events saw the Americans outnumbered in the heavily weighted 12-horse field, eight Spanish amateurs versus four Americans. The points there killed us (perhaps we should have applied a curve). The Spanish finished 1-3 with (NAADA's) Alan Schwartz, Paul Minore and Joe Lee following them, 4-6. I (Faraldo) finished last but not disqualified as were two Spaniards.

Event No. 2, a seven-horse race at the same distance, saw me cut the fractions with Schwartz parked for his life and Minore enjoying the two-hole trip. As the field turned for home, Minore tipped his French horse Cocktail Broniais out and "jiggy-jogged" home. Following dutifully were two Spaniards, then Schwartz, Faraldo and Lee.

With their being only seven in that second heat, the points shook out as follows: Spain 67, USA 48, which precipitated a question: where is that curve when you really need it?

After the races, 24 people were hosted to a fabulous lunch at a great restaurant called Nimo's in the heart of the thriving Palma de Mallorca. The Spanish Federation’s head honcho, the affable Juan, had a feast set out for us with Mallorcan bread, Spanish burrata, pulpo, chorizo, and then the grand dame of all, paella. Juan then provided-diet killing deserts and we were carried away.

A host of other goodies show up at the Finca via Juan Bassa, the owner and sire of the great Spanish amateur Jaume Bassa. Minore is serving as our champion as of today, and he bought the champagne and ten bottles of wine. Everyone is poolside right now pushing a few back.

There will be one race left in Monacor on the three-eighths-mile oval on Saturday night. Because of Paul’s generosity, we are kinda rooting for him, but with us leaving early the next morning with no time for him to shop, we just figure we will.


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