Mexico - 7-10 Mar 19

Posted: March 7, 2019 9:40 AM - 2032 Hits

Round 3 - 2019 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Mexico 2019) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Mexico

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
Shakedown - Thu - 16:00
SS1 Fri - 02:08 (Superspecial)
SS2 Fri - 16:18
SS10 Sat - 14:23
SS19 Sun - 15:03

From one extreme to the other for the Toyota Yaris WRC

Posted: March 7, 2019 4:09 AM

Following its victory on the snow and ice of Rally Sweden to take the triple lead of the manufacturers', drivers' and co-drivers championships, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is preparing for a very different challenge on Rally Mexico: the first true gravel event of the season. Ott Tänak heads to Mexico on top of the drivers' standings for the first time after his Swedish success, while his team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke are both past winners of the event.

As well as usually being one of the warmest events on the WRC calendar, with ambient temperatures around 30°C, Rally Mexico is also the highest round of the season. The route peaks at 2,737m above sea level, where the thinner air reduces engine power by as much as 20 per cent.

The rally begins again this year with the spectacular Thursday evening stage through the colourful streets and tunnels of Guanajuato. Another street stage runs next to the service park in Leon on Friday and Saturday together with laps of the city's racing circuit. On Sunday the new Mesa Cueta stage features the first half of Friday's El Chocolate test, while a second visit to Las Minas runs as the rally-ending Power Stage.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“After our brilliant win in Sweden, the team is feeling very confident that we can also have a good rally in Mexico. It is always a tough event for the teams because of the altitude and the high temperatures, but over the past year we have done a lot of work to make our car more reliable in these conditions, while also improving the performance. We have worked very hard with the cooling package in particular. Our pre-event testing in Spain last week went well and we're feeling ready.”

Martin Järveoja and Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“It was a great feeling for us to win in Sweden, but we quickly changed our focus to Mexico. We flew straight to Spain for two days of gravel testing on the Monday and Tuesday after the rally. We worked on a number of different things, just trying to be as well-prepared as we can be. The whole team has been working hard and I believe we should be competitive in Mexico. As championship leaders, we will have to run first on the road on the Friday. It won't be easy but we saw in Mexico last year that it is possible to have a good result from this position, so let's see how it goes.”

Miikka Anttila and Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“I am looking forward to being in Mexico: particularly the warm sun at the end of the Finnish winter! So far, it hasn't really been the start to the season for me that I would have wanted. If there is one positive from this, however, it is that I will have quite a nice starting position for the first day in Mexico, as the eighth car on the road. I had a good test in Spain last week, using pretty much the same setup that I used to win in Australia, with just a few small tweaks. Most importantly, I am confident that as a team we are totally prepared this year for the altitude and the high temperatures.”

Seb Marshall and Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“I had two days of testing in the south of Spain last week, which was my first time driving the car on gravel outside of Finland. It was really useful for me and I came away feeling comfortable. Mexico is a place I've gone well in the last few years: I won in 2017, and last year I was in the fight for the victory and finished third. Now with a different car I hope to be competing at the sharp end once again. Monte Carlo and Sweden were events with very complicated conditions where it would have been easy to make a mistake. Mexico is usually a lot more consistent, and I'm looking forward to it.”

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Round 3 – Rally México

Posted: March 7, 2019 4:08 AM

Hyundai Motorsport heads overseas for the third round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally México, aiming to continue its competitive start to the season.

Consecutive podium results in the opening two rounds have seen the team outline its ambition and potential in a tantalising battle between the four manufacturer teams. Rally México will present the first true gravel event of the season in climatic conditions that offer a stark contrast to those faced in Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Sweden.

Hyundai Motorsport will once again field a three-crew line-up with Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio joining Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul and Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Amland. The Spaniards, who will line up in the #6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, will begin their first WRC outing of 2019 on the back of victory with the Hyundai i20 R5 in Rali Serras de Fafe last weekend.

Siesta resistance

It will be precisely the motivation needed for all crews in their fight for victory in Mexico, a rally that brings the unique challenges of high altitude, intense heat and punishing gravel stages. From the colourful street stage in Guanajuato, the event ascends into stunning surroundings of the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains. Against a picturesque backdrop, crews will tackle a series of gruelling tests that will put drivers, co-drivers and cars to the ultimate test.

Notable stages include the daunting El Chocolate, reaching the highest altitude of the season in excess of 2,700m, and El Brinco, which features a brand new exhilarating jump for 2019. Testing is prohibited outside of Europe but all three crews have had the opportunity to prepare for Rally México with gravel testing in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in the south of Spain.

Hyundai Motorsport has taken numerous podium results in Mexico over the years, including its first-ever WRC top-three result in 2014 and its best finish to date in the rally, second place, secured by Sordo twelve months ago. The aim is to target one better than that in this year’s event.

Team Director Andrea Adamo said:
“From ice and snow, we move onto the hot and equally tricky conditions of Rally México, where we want to assert our rally-winning credentials for this WRC season. The first two rallies of 2019 have delivered an exciting spectacle and we have been able to feature strongly in the battle. However, against extremely tough opposition, we have to re-double our efforts and push that bit harder for the results we know we are capable of scoring. For Dani and Carlos, this is their first WRC event of the season but they have already begun the year with a winning mentality, having taken victory in Portugal with our i20 R5. We hope this will have a positive impact on all three of our WRC crews in Mexico.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Second in drivers’ championship after two podium results in a row
Three-time podium scorer in Mexico, including twice with Hyundai Motorsport (2014/2017)

Neuville said: “We have got the 2019 season off to a solid start with two satisfying podium results. It’s early days in the championship but we have shown our pace and potential, as well as identifying areas of improvement. Mexico, as always, will be a different challenge. It’s the first rally of the year with hot temperatures, a real contrast to Monte-Carlo and Sweden, as well as being high up in the mountains. The reduction of oxygen at altitude will mean less horsepower for the engine, while the heat makes life more demanding in the cockpit for the driver and co-driver. It’s a rally where we’ve fought for podiums in the past, so we know what we have to do to be successful.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger-Amland (#89 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Fourth place in Sweden represented Norwegians best result since Mexico 2018
Mikkelsen finished on Mexican podium in 2015

Mikkelsen said: “The difference in conditions from Sweden to Mexico could not be greater! It is one of the warmest rallies of the season, at high altitude and with some long, hard gravel stages. The combination of heat and height makes it a gruelling rally for crews and cars. The altitude reduces the engine power output, which means we are constantly looking for something more from the car. The start of the season has brought some positives for us as a crew, and for the team. We were fighting for second place in Sweden, so we’ll be hoping to feature near the front in Mexico too.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
First WRC event of the season, a rally where they finished second in 2018
Recent victory in Hyundai i20 R5 in Rali Serras de Fafe, as preparation for Mexico

Sordo said: “I am happy to be starting my first WRC event of the season, having followed the opening rallies very closely. The other crews have already warmed themselves up at Monte-Carlo and Sweden, even in the cold conditions. Now it’s time to begin our own season! Carlos and I used Rali Serras de Fafe as a way of preparing ourselves for Mexico, and we had a successful weekend in the Hyundai i20 R5. We will use this experience, as well as Thursday’s shakedown, to get quickly up to speed, as we aim to fight for the podium. Mexico is a tough event but one I enjoy and with incredible support from the fans.”

Rally México begins on Thursday, March 7 with shakedown and a short street stage at Guanajuato. Friday, the first full day of action offers a varied itinerary including the 31.57km El Chocolate stage and shorter stages in León. Saturday incorporates longer tests Guanajuatito (25.90km), Otates (32.27km) and the fan-favourite El Brinco (8.13km) before returning to León in the evening. Sunday’s schedule covers 60km and three stages with the Las Minas Power Stage bringing the 21-stage event to its conclusion in style.

PIENIAZEK READY FOR MEXICO

Posted: March 7, 2019 4:05 AM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s ?ukasz Pieni??ek is ready to tackle the gravel stages of next week’s Rally Mexico. Taking to the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5, the young Pole is contesting his first event outside of Europe and is keen to show further improvements on the first gravel event of the year.

?ukasz Pieni??ek (WRC 2 Pro) said:
“I’m really looking forward to Rally Mexico which will be my first ever event outside Europe. Due to the high temperatures and potentially really demanding conditions, Kamil [Heller, co-driver] and I have been training really hard, and we're ready for the battle.

“We left Poland on Thursday to give ourselves two days to acclimatise ahead of Monday's pre-event test. I didn’t find a set-up that was perfectly suited to my driving in Sweden, but we have a few ideas of what we can improve next week. We want to continue the work we started in Sweden – to try a few things and get to know our Fiesta better.

“It's a great pity that we'll be the only WRC 2 Pro crew in Mexico, but that doesn't mean we're not going to fight. Our goal is to be the first R5 crew so we won't be cruising and we'll try to go as fast as possible. On the other hand there will surely be less pressure. Either way it's still going to be a long and demanding rally, but the longer the stages the better for me.”

M-SPORT FORD GEARED UP FOR GRAVEL

Posted: March 7, 2019 4:01 AM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen will be looking to show the speed of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC on gravel when the FIA World Rally Championship ventures to next week’s Rally Mexico.

The first loose-surface event of the year took place at last month’s Rally Sweden and the team proved their potential with five stage wins on snow and ice. Suninen led the rally for the first time in his career, and the team will be looking for more of the same when they swap icy forests for dusty mountains.

A two-day test in the hills north of Barcelona allowed the team to replicate the expected altitude, and the crews to reaffirm the sensation of driving on gravel. The test was supplemented by a further two days at Ford’s state-of-the-art climatic chamber in Dunton – perfecting the engine maps to ensure optimum performance at high altitude and temperatures.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:

“This is the first gravel event of the year and I’m excited to see what we can do. I think we made our intentions pretty clear in Sweden – with five stage wins we’re not just here to make up the numbers. We’re here to challenge for the top results, and I think we’ll have a good chance of doing that next week.

“Elfyn and Teemu both have the speed, and they’ll both have a good road position on the first day that we will need to make the most of. We need to work on our consistency, but if we can do that I see no reason why we can’t bring some trophies home to Cumbria.”

RALLY MEXICO
HIGHS OF COMPETITION

Rally Mexico is truly unique with high altitudes and temperatures to test both man and machine. The 30°C heat can be closer to 50°C in the cockpit. The crews must be in peak physical condition, and every technical component must also be able to withstand the punishing temperatures. If that weren’t enough, the stages climb more than 2,700 meters above sea level where the oxygen-starved air can see engine performance reduced by as much as 20 percent.

The drivers must adjust their driving to contend with the reduced power, and the engineers must be sure to extract maximum performance. The gravel stages can also be rough going, especially over the second pass, and the crews must maintain their concentration levels to avoid the pitfalls that make this a true rally of attrition.

Yet despite being one of the most challenging events on the calendar, Rally Mexico is also one of the most vibrant. The Mexican fans have taken rallying to their hearts and their enthusiasm is best captured in the historic town of Guanajuato – the colours, sights and sounds of the opening super special not to be missed.

ELFYN EVANS SCOTT MARTIN
Elfyn Evans has twice finished fourth in Mexico, and the Welshman will want to be in the fight for the top positions again this year. He and co-driver Scott Martin proved their speed with three stage wins in Sweden, and they’ll be ones to watch in Mexico.

Previous starts: 4
Best result: 4th (2015 and 2014)


Elfyn Evans said:
“I’ve always enjoyed Rally Mexico and have had some good results here in the past. I’ve come close to the podium a couple of times, and the aim will be to challenge for the top results again next week. The whole team showed good speed in Sweden, and we want to continue that in Mexico.

“We’ll have a good road position on the first day that we’ll need to make the most of. But this rally isn’t without its challenges. It’s a notoriously demanding event with high temperatures and rough stages. So we’ll need to be fully focused to deliver the best results.

“We’ll also encounter the highest altitudes of the year, and the thinner air can see performance fall by as much as 20 percent. We’ll need to adapt our driving style to contend with that – being really smooth and not so aggressive behind the wheel – to ensure we’re getting 100 percent of the available performance.”

TEEMU SUNINEN MARKO SALMINEN
Teemu Suninen may have only contested Rally Mexico on two previous occasions, but he is a previous category winner – securing the WRC 2 victory in 2016. Having led a rally for the first time last month, Suninen and co-driver Marko Salminen are hungry for more and have the potential to impress once again next week.

Previous starts: 2
Best result: 9th (2016)

Teemu Suninen said:
“Rally Mexico and Rally Sweden are two totally different events, but it would be nice to continue our strong performance. We drove a one-day test in Spain last week and, although the temperatures aren’t very close to what we’ll see in Mexico, it was a good opportunity to get a feel for the car at high altitude on gravel.

“The feeling was really good, but there is always a little uncertainty going to the events as we don’t know what our rivals have done. There was that same feeling before Sweden, but our pace was good and we had the speed to challenge for the top results.

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to challenge with the top guys next week, but we’re all working really hard and team have put a lot of effort into the development of the Fiesta. That hard work showed in Sweden, and I hope it will show in Mexico too.

“I’ll have a later start position, but that’s not always a good thing as there could be a lot of stones dragged onto the line. The key for me will be to drive neatly and have the consistency as well as the speed.”

Entry List V2

Posted: February 15, 2019 6:13 AM

Rally Guide / Event Website:

Posted: January 11, 2019 4:41 AM

Classified Ads

 Add a Classified

 All Classifieds






Twitter Feed