La Carrera Panamericana of 1951 generated enough expectation around the world and for this reason it was decided to change the date of the event to the month of November, just at the end of the North American and European racing season in order to attract more professional competitors.
For that year, the route was made the reverse of the previous edition, mainly because the infrastructure in the north of the country was larger than in the south of the country, favoring the work of the media. In addition, the American competitors were at the end of the fair, closer to their border, facilitating their return.
Finally, the organizers predicted that several of the first sections were mountainous, making the event more manageable at the end.
Although there were fewer competitors registered for this edition, there was higher quality among the participants since many were experienced racers.
Due to the fact that the NASCAR and Indianapolis organizations supported the event, many professional North American racers came, such as Chuck Stevenson, Tony Bettenhausen, Troy Ruttman, Bill Sterling, Bud Sennet, John Fitch and the winner of the previous edition Hershel McGriff.
The European stars were present at La Carrera, among them were Italians Piero Taruffi and Luigi Chinetti as co-pilot, Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio with Luigi Villoresi as co-pilot, and Felice Bonetto and Giovanni Bracco aboard two Lancias cars.
In 1951, the organizers of the test allowed automotive manufacturers to make modifications to the chassis and engines of the standard vehicles, provided that the camshaft was kept intact. It was in the same year that Ferrari registered its first participation in the automotive fair with two Coupes 212 Export vehicles with a 2.6-liter V12 engine, destined for the duos Taruffi / Chinetti and Ascari / Volloresi, who ravaged the competition by achieving the first two positions , ranking third in Sterling’s Chrysler, equipped with an eight-cylinder engine of 220CV.
Although there were many reasons for celebration, there were also some complaints from some competitors alleging that the Italians had made equipment to block certain sections of the road, that they used another type of gasoline and used competitive sports cars instead of cars of production used by the other competitors.