Rally Guanajuato México
|Rally Guanajuato México|
|Stages:||21 (313,87 km)|
- Mexico is the season’s opening gravel round and breathtaking in both senses of the word. The stages climb 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.
- 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.
- Friday covers familiar roads around the town, as well as a street stage next to the León service park and two tests at the city’s motor racing circuit to end.
- The second leg features equally challenging roads in the mountains north and east of León and includes evening re-runs of the street and race track tests.
- Sunday’s finale comprises many roads already used earlier, ending with the Las Minas Wolf Power Stage which finishes on the edge of Guanajuato.
El Chocolate. Friday’s 31.57km test is the second longest of the rally and rises to a breathtaking 2650 metres, one of the season’s highest altitudes. 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 2019
- Thursday night’s atmospheric start ceremony in Guanajuato moves back to its traditional position ahead of the opening speed test through the town.
- The stage reverts to a shorter 1.14km blast after retracing steps to the start 12 months ago.
- El Brinco’s famous jump is gone – to be replaced by a new and equally spectacular leap! The route turns onto a new road near the finish, ending with a dramatic man-made jump in a dry reservoir.
- Sunday’s penultimate Mesa Cuata test. It features the opening half of the fiendishly difficult El Chocolate, before turning south towards Guanajuato.
- Thursday evening in Guanajuato is unmissable. The colour, sights and sounds of the opening ceremony outside the Alhóndiga de Granaditas museum is an experience to savour and the stage through former mining tunnels is unique.
- 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.
- El Brinco’s new jump, which is tackled twice on Saturday. It’s going to be a cracker!
- Sunshine! After the winter weather in Monte-Carlo and Sweden, the WRC contingent is more than happy to take in a few rays.