|Rally Guanajuato Mexico|
|Date of Award Ceremony:||09.03.2014|
- Based in the country’s fifth largest city of León, 400km north-west of Mexico City.
- Covers familiar territory in the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains, north and east of León.
- Begins on Thursday night with the start and opening test in picturesque Guanajuato.
- Friday’s leg returns to the area for three dirt tests and a short stage in Bicentennial Park, built three years ago between Guanajuato and Silao to celebrate 200 years of Mexican independence.
- Second leg and third legs are nearer León and the final day re-uses some roads from Saturday.
- All legs include tests at León’s race circuit, a popular viewing spot for fans.
- Drivers must remember how to master gravel roads. It’s the first of six consecutive dirt rounds and the first hot gravel event since Australia last September.
- Temperatures nearing 30°C put stress on engines and transmissions.
- The route climbs to the season’s highest point at 2737m. Engines struggle to breathe in the thin air and lose 20 per cent power.
- Less power means mistakes are punished more severely as accelerating back to top speed takes longer.
- Concrete culverts across the roads can inflict big damage.
- Normal gravel suspension – the roads are not rough but become rutted during the second pass.
- Only hard compound tyres are used due to high temperatures and hard-packed roads.
- First held in 1979, the rally moved to León in 1998 and joined WRC in 2004.
- The 2007 rally was the shortest in WRC history with a total distance of less than 850km. It still included more than 366km of stages and more than 43 per cent was competitive.
- Sébastien Loeb scored six consecutive wins between 2006 and 2012 (the rally was absent in 2009 due to rotation).
What’s new for 2014
- The long stages have become even longer. Each leg contains a marathon test covering 44.03km, 53.69km and 55.92km respectively. The long stages in legs 1 and 2 are used twice.
- While the single service park remains at León’s Poliforum, cars will be serviced outdoors rather inside the huge exhibition hall.
- The service park is based in the area previously used for a street stage, which will not be run.
- The colourful ceremonial start in Guanajuato, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Music, dancing and a party atmosphere create one of the season’s highlights and the opening stage through former mining tunnels begins there and then. Get there early – the crowds are huge!