A selection of stories that are making the news in the run-up to Rally Mexico:
Absent al-Kuwari. WRC2 frontrunner Abdulaziz al-Kuwari has withdrawn from Rally Mexico after a new sponsorship deal failed to materialize in time.
The Qatari, who drives a Fiesta RRC, won the WRC2 category in Mexico last year, and went on to finish second to Robert Kubica in the championship.
A fortnight ago, al-Kuwari warned that his WRC appearances in Mexico and Portugal were in doubt unless he could find a replacement for his 2013 sponsors, Seashore.
RRC for Bertelli. Lorenzo Bertelli has changed his Rally Mexico entry from a Fiesta R5 to a Fiesta Regional Rally Car (RRC).
The switch was made because demand has outstripped supply of the R5 spec machines from British preparation firm M-Sport. WRC2 regular Bertelli is familiar with the RRC Fiesta, having driven one on three WRC rounds in 2013.
Essentially a de-tuned World rally Car, the RRC Fiesta features stronger suspension than the R5 car and should be well suited to the event’s rough stages.
Live stage change. Rally Mexico’s original Saturday itinerary has been tweaked to fit live TV coverage of the event.
The previous Stage 15 has been split into two stages, SS15 Otatitos (43.06km) and the SS16 El Brinco (18.25km) that will be broadcast live.
El Brinco will be repeated on Sunday, when it will be broadcast on television again, this time as the rally-closing Power Stage.