WRC Live Radio
Presenter: Becs Williams
Hola a todos!
Rally Mexico is next up on the agenda and to quote Pharrell Williams ‘I’m happy’ and so are many others.
To begin to explain why Rally Mexico is so well liked is not difficult. The welcome everyone receives here is overwhelming - there is a friendly warmth which makes you feel instantly at home despite having travelled for many hours. Add to this the incredible location, stunning vistas plus the undeniable need to party and you have yourselves a rally that everyone loves to come to.
The weather is also quite a draw. The sun always shines in the Guanajuato region and after two wintery rallies it is a welcome relief to ditch the scarves and dig out the flip flops.
As we bask in the sun, Jari-Matti Latvala is currently doing his own bit of basking - as he currently heads the points table and leads the WRC, quite astonishingly, for the very first time.
After a terrific win in Sweden the Finn finds himself with the coveted title of ‘championship leader’. But of course, this fabulous status comes at a price, as JML will now venture into the gravel strewn stages of Mexico before anyone else. Indeed, Jari-Matti maybe ‘Head honcho’ but he is now also ‘Star sweeper’. I may make him a badge for the very occasion.
Sweeping these stages however is no joke, especially when you have a 44k stage on the opening morning!
That is not the longest stage during the weekend though, that accolade goes to the fabulously named ‘Guanajuatito’ at 55ks. There are an array of long stages throughout the rally, huge challenges for the drivers to face and don’t forget the throw in the engine zapping altitude for good measure. No wonder there is a superb after party - the drivers need it!
Talking of drivers, this week we welcome back Chris ‘Atko’ Atkinson, who teams up with Thierry Neuville at Hyundai. It is always good to see Atko, his dry wit and Australian charm (I think its called charm) are always welcome in the service park. We have tasked Atko with introducing our listeners to the Hyundai team, in his own inimitable style. I will relinquish my recording equipment to him and will wait with baited breath to hear the outcome...
Across the pond from Atko, there was good news for all Hayden Paddon fans last week, as Hyundai announced a seven rally programme for Hayden beginning at Rally d’Italia Sardegna. Luckily for us, Hayden is in Mexico to recce the event and we plan to chat at length with him about the new venture, his preparations for the big step up to WRC and what he hopes to achieve. If you have any questions for him, then send them onto to my twitter address @becsywecsy
Other feasts of delight this week include a feature interview with World Champion co-driver Julien Ingrassia, on his career so far and his awesome comedy moments. Benito Guerra will be giving his guide to Rally Mexico and we will have the latest news on the forthcoming JWRC.
The whole WRC Live team are more than ready to deliver a massive piñata of treats for you this weekend, so make sure you join us for the fiesta of Rally Mexico!