Rally Guanajuato México
|Rally Guanajuato México|
|Stages:||22 (344.49 km)|
- Breathtaking in both senses of the word as the WRC climbs to the thin air and stunning scenery of the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains.
- Based in the country’s fifth largest city of León, 400km north-west of Mexico City.
- Begins on Thursday night with a colourful start ceremony and opening test in picturesque Guanajuato.
- Friday covers familiar roads north of the town, as well as visits to a street stage next to the León service park and the city’s motor racing circuit.
- Final two days comprise equally challenging and sun-baked stages in the mountains, including re-runs of the street and race track tests.
- El Chocolate. Although shorter than last year, Friday’s 31.44km test is the longest of the rally and marks the season’s high point at more than 2700 metres. It has everything – climbs, descents, hairpins, fast sections, narrow roads and plenty of enticing corners.
- The moment of truth for the new-generation World Rally Cars! Reliability is tested to the maximum during their first time in competition on gravel.
- 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 unusually rough but become heavily rutted during the second pass.
- Expect to see both soft and hard compound tyres, the latter more likely in the afternoons when drivers face higher 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 2018
- The return of the start and opening test through the picture postcard town of Guanajuato.
- The familiar Las Minas forms the rally-closing live TV Power Stage on Sunday lunchtime, with an initial run through the 11.07km test a couple of hours earlier.
- Thursday evening in Guanajuato is unmissable. The colour, sights and sounds of the opening ceremony are an experience to savour and the stage through former mining tunnels is unique. The extended test features more of the town’s landmarks and is held before the ceremony outside the Alhóndiga de Granaditas museum.
- The Autódromo de León test at the city’s motor racing circuit is one of the year’s best super specials. It mixes asphalt and gravel, featuring a big jump and water splash. Held on Friday and Saturday evenings.
- High-flying action at the famous El Brinco jump on Saturday. Located shortly before the finish of the stage, which is driven twice.
- Sunshine! After the winter weather in Monte-Carlo and Sweden, the WRC contingent is more than happy to take in a few rays.