Former ŠKODA Motorsport works driver Pontus Tidemand once again proved that he really knows his Mexico. Just as in 2017 and 2018, he managed to dominate his class. He drove his ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo to victory in each one of the first 11 special stages. He didn’t slow down until Saturday when, by his own account, he wasn’t one hundred percent sure about his tyre choice, which led him to adopt a more careful approach. By that time, however, he was more than a minute ahead of runner-up Nikolay Gryazin in a Hyundai i20 Rally2 and more than five minutes ahead of Ole Christian Veiby, also in a Hyundai, who was battling technical problems and facing a penalty for late arrival.
Although Tidemand suffered a puncture in the second run of the long Guanajuatito stage, the same thing happened to Gryazin, while Veiby rolled his car. To improve their situation even further, Tidemand and his co-driver Patrik Barth continued to add another five stage victories, ending Saturday with a two-minute lead not only in the WRC2 category, but also in the whole Rally2 group – even taking sixth place in the overall classification. This was the final result, because the organizers, after reaching an agreement with both FIA and all the attending teams, decided to cancel Sunday’s three stages to allow the crews and teams to return home before the borders closed due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spread. As they completed most of the Mexican rally (almost 80 %), all the teams and crews received the full point score.
“It's a rally that suits me well and the car worked well too. I hope I can come back here again for sure. We had a bit of a struggle this afternoon and I was a bit nervous, but that's how rallying should be. I'm glad to finish here and I want to say thanks to the team and my co-driver,” Pontus Tidemand said afterwards.
Of the nine WRC3 cars entered into the rally, only five reached the finish of this demanding gravel event in high altitudes. Four of them were FABIA Rally2s, confirming the excellent reliability of the car. The victory went to Marco Bulacia Wilkinson, driving a Citroën C3 Rally2, who managed to stay in the lead for almost the whole duration of the rally and to avoid any problems. Right behind him were four ŠKODA drivers: Emilio Fernández from Chile, local national champion Ricardo Triviño, Kajetan Kajetanowicz from Poland and another Mexican, Benito Guerra junior.
The next event on the calendar was scheduled to be Rally Argentina (originally scheduled for 23rd to 26th April), but because of the ongoing pandemic, it is currently postponed, as are all the other sporting events around the world. The FIA will provide more information about their plans for the rest of the championship as the situation develops.