The WRC Rally Mexico kicks off in a weeks’ time on the 9th of March and lasts till the 12th. This year is set to spark into action in spectacular style. If when you think of rally you think of distant deserts, muddy meadows and frozen forests then think again. The opening stages is coming to the city and will be roared on by tens of thousands of expectant rally enthusiasts.
The main square of Mexico City, affectionately known locally as the Zocalo, will see the introduction of two new stages. The scene, some will recognize from the stunning scene in the James Bond movie Spectre, plays host to two special speed stages on a specially built asphalt track around perhaps the world’s largest flag!
Neuville, Thierry Neuville, (No more Bond puns, I promise) will need to hold spy like nerve and resolve alongside the Hyundai team if they are to keep in the race against Toyota and MSPORT. Up until now they have had some terribly bad luck and will be praying for a bit of Mexican suerte.
However, the stages after the speed tests will be no push over and they will push the cars to their max as the teams head 400km south to the Leon/Guanajuato stages. The distant dark forest of the Scandinavian forests will be a distant memory as the cars head for the dust, dirt and heat of the oxygen starved mountains of the ominously named Sierra de Lobo (Wolf Mountains) and Sierra de Guanajuato. Just like humans the cars suffer from the reduced oxygen resulting in a stunning 20% drop in power.
Another stunning stage takes place in the bowels of the mountains in the former silver mine tunnels of the picturesque World Heritage Town, Guanajuato. For the dirt and dust of the mountains the cars will be carrying a minimum of 4mm-5mm underbody protection and 4mm mudflaps of A90 shore hardness. Overground or underground this breathtaking varied leg promises to be a crunch stage.