Monday | 29 Feb 2016

Marathon 80km test dominates Mexico route

Without wanting to ignore the previous three days at Rally Guanajuato Mexico, all eyes will be fixed on Sunday's final leg when competitors face the longest special stage in the WRC for 30 years.

The 80km Guanajuato kicks off the final day at this third round of the WRC season, and it is expected to take the fastest drivers more than 50 minutes to complete in the power-sapping mountains north and east of the rally base of León.

Endurance is certainly to the fore at the season's opening gravel round. Friday's leg features two passes over the 54.21km El Chocolate, ahead of a double run through Otates on Saturday which weighs in at 42.62km.

The rally begins on Thursday night with one of the highlights of the WRC year, when tens of thousands of fans will pack Guanajuato's tiny streets for a colourful start ceremony filled with dancing and music.

It is followed immediately by a short street stage which runs in part through underground mining tunnels and then two super special stages at León's motor racing circuit.

Friday's action takes place in the mountains north of Guanajuato, with two morning stages repeated in the afternoon. They are split by a street stage on the edge of the service park in León and the day ends with two more race track tests.

Saturday's penultimate leg is the longest with 152.40km of action, featuring familiar tests such as Ibarrilla, Otates and El Brinco. It ends with a final visit to the race circuit followed by a repeat of the León street stage, driven in darkness.

And then comes Sunday's monster 80km stage, using many roads tackled earlier in the weekend. The rally closes with the live TV Agua Zarca Power stage, with bonus points for the fastest three drivers.

The 21 stages cover 399.71km in a compact route of 1077.08km.

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