The hot and dusty mountains of central Mexico will provide the first opportunity to gauge the pace of the new-era World Rally Cars on gravel, but ironically it’s the asphalt heart of Mexico City which will provide the early excitement in this week’s WRC encounter.
Before Rally Guanajuato Mexico (9 - 12 March) hits the high-altitude dirt roads above León, it will roar into life during a flyaway trip to the country’s capital on Thursday for two 1.57km speed tests in the famous Zócalo square and surrounding streets.
Massive crowds will pack the centre of one of the world’s largest cities for the evening fiesta. The CDMX Street Stage Presented by Michelin follows a day of promotional activities there, before drivers take the hour-long flight back to León after what promises to be one of the biggest days in WRC history.
The square is no stranger to spectacular stunts. It was in the skies above Zócalo that the stunning helicopter fight scene which launched James Bond movie ‘Spectre’ was filmed.
Rally cars are transported to and from Mexico City by road and once back in León there are almost 370km of gravel special stages to cover over the next three days.
Friday journeys to the area around Guanajuato town for two identical loops of two tests, including the marathon 54.90km El Chocolate. It ends with a short stage through the atmospheric underground silver mine tunnels in Guanajuato and two tests at León’s motor racing circuit.
Saturday is the longest of the weekend with 157.57km of competition. Three stages are driven twice, including the live TV El Brinco, before two more blasts around the race circuit and a finale on the streets next to León’s service park.
The final leg kicks off with the new La Calera test before the live TV Power Stage over the familiar roads of Derramadero.
The 20 stages cover 370.46km in a compact total route of 897.68km.