From the spectacular opening in the capital Mexico City, the competitors climb to 2,737 metres above sea level and the highest point in this year’s World Rally Championship.
The action kicks off on Thursday with a genuine highlight in the heart of Mexico City. Tidemand, at the wheel of his ŠKODA FABIA R5, will be out to thrill the tens of thousands of fans at Zócalo square. The competitors must then tackle the famous “El Chocolate” stage twice on Friday. At 54.90 kilometres, this is one of the longest stages of the season. The drivers will also take a trip underground on the Friday, as the route heads through the old mining tunnels in Guanajuato. Generally speaking, the rough gravel roads put particular strain on both the tyres and the engine – after all, the route climbs as high as 2,737 metres above sea level, where the thin air robs engines of up to 20 per cent of their power.
Sweden’s Motorsport Athlete of the Year 2016 is tied with Andreas Mikkelsen at the top of the WRC2 standings. The Norwegian won the opening round of the season, the Rallye Monte Carlo, also at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5. Starting last season, the high-tech four-wheel drive powerhouse from the Czech Republic has now won twelve of the last 13 WRC2 rallies. Hopes are high that the next chapter in this spectacular success story will be added at the Rally Mexico.
Did you know that…
…three ŠKODA FABIA R5s will start the 2017 Rally Mexico?
As well as ŠKODA works driver Pontus Tidemand, Mexican Benito Guerra and Poland’s Hubert Ptaszek will also put their faith in the turbo-powered car from the Czech Republic.
…last year’s Rally Mexico was won by a driver at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5?
Back then, it was Finland’s Teemu Suninen who took his place on the top step of the podium.
…after two rounds, the top four in the overall WRC2 standings includes three ŠKODA FABIA R5 drivers?
Following his victory at the iconic Rallye Monte Carlo, Andreas Mikkelsen is tied at the top on 25 points with works driver Pontus Tidemand. The second ŠKODA works driver, Jan Kopecký, is currently fourth with 18 points.
…the Rally Mexico climbs to 2,737 metres above sea level?
This is the highest point in this year’s world championship. Thin air means the engines lose roughly 20 per cent of their power.
…the Rally Mexico is the first all-gravel rally of 2017?
…the 1979 Rally Mexico was held for the first time in 1979?
It has featured on the calendar of the FIA World Rally Championship since 2004.
…the venue for the first special stage in Mexico City will be familiar from a James Bond film?
It formed the backdrop for the opening helicopter scene in “Spectre”. Over 200,000 fans are expected to flock to the Zócalo square for the World Rally Championship.
…the Rally Mexico goes underground?
The competitors will drive through the old mining tunnels beneath Guanajuato on Friday. Tens of thousands of rally fans make the annual pilgrimage to take in this spectacle.
…the service park is located in one of the five largest cities in Mexico?
León is located about 400 kilometres from Mexico City and has about 1.6 million inhabitants.