The Rally Guanajuato Mexico will once again take place in the city of León, which is located in Guanajuato state, some 400 km north-west of Mexico City. The Rally has been held here since 1994 and has been a fixture on the WRC calendar since 2004 (barring a one-year absence in 2009 because of rotation).
The event will begin with a high profile opening event - a street stage taking place in and around Zócalo Main Square in Mexico City. If you have never visited Mexico City, you might know this square from the opening helicopter fight in the James Bond film Spectre. Some 200,000 fans are expected to line the streets for this opening special stage.
From there, drivers will return to the more familiar roads around León, including the famous Guanajuato underground street stage, held in the tunnels of an old silver mine, which this year takes place on the Friday evening and will also draw tens of thousands of fans from across the region.
Saturday and Sunday will see drivers take on the yet more hot and dusty tracks around León, with two new stages on the itinerary for this year - Lajas de Oro on Saturday and La Calera on Sunday.
The Rally Guanajuato Mexico will be the first event this season in that drivers have had a chance to test out their cars at full speed on gravel. And there are plenty more challenges to overcome too. The Rally Guanajuato Mexico will see cars climb to the highest point of the season, some 2,737 m above sea level. At that altitude, not only will drivers be struggling for air, but so will the cars, with at least 20 % of regular power likely to be lost.
Throw in typical temperatures of around 30 °C and the infamous concrete culverts which frequently cross the track and can cause significant damage if not traversed properly, and what is left is one the year’s toughest rallies.
Both ŠKODA Motorsport and a number of our customer teams will be looking to put the FABIA R5 to the test in Mexico and seek to continue the car’s run of 5 successive WRC2 victories. And you will be able to follow the performance of all of them throughout the weekend on this website.