The season’s first non-European and gravel event, Rally Mexico will take place over 19 stages and a competitive distance of 393.8km.
The service park remains in sun-drenched León, around 400km north of Mexico City. The crews face some of the warmest temperatures in the whole calendar.
The event will get underway on Thursday evening with a Super Special Stage at Mexico City’s Zócalo main square – known for its appearance during the opening scene of the James Bond film Spectre – with more than 200,000 fans expected to attend.
Friday’s itinerary see the crews take to the stunning scenery and thin air of the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains, before descending back down to the very depths for the Rally’s famous underground stage through former silver mine tunnels.
The rest of the weekend will see the action return to the León region, featuring new stages at Lajas de Oro on Saturday and La Calera on Sunday. Sunday’s live TV Power Stage at Derramadero will bring the event to a close.
Welcome to all the Rally drivers. This is Rally, this is México ???? https://t.co/2ZHmHZFZr1
— Rally México Oficial (@RallyMexico) 6 March 2017
Rally Mexico means
- Heat, dust, altitude and innovation are among Rally Mexico’s key features. Ambient temperatures rarely dip below 30 degrees centigrade, there’s dust aplenty on the stages that run in altitude and zap engine power by up to 20 per cent, while the event organisers are constantly looking at ways to widen the rally’s appeal.
- For 2017 that means a super special stage in México City’s Zócalo main square on Thursday March 9. Drivers and team personnel will take early morning flights from León, while the rally cars will be loaded onto transporters for the 330-kilometre journey to the country’s capital. A 1.71-kilometre stage awaits and huge numbers of fans are expected to line the route.
- The event resumes on Friday morning with quite a rude awakening. While there will be no repeat of an 80-kilometre stage this year, El Chocolate, which is run twice on leg one, measures 54.90 kilometres and will ensure the crews are subjected to a tough early test. Other favourites on Friday include Las Minas and Street Stage Guanajuato, which runs through the city’s old mining tunnels.
- Leg two on Saturday is the longest of the rally at 157.57 competitive kilometres with the 38.31-kilometre Lajas de Oro stage set to offer the biggest challenge. The day concludes with a return to the Autódromo de León for two fan-friendly blasts around a temporary mixed-surface course.
- Two stages bring the action to a close on Sunday, including the Derramadero Power Stage from 12h18 local time, ahead of the spectacular finish ceremony on the banks of the Foro del Lago at 14h30.
Apart from missing out in 2009, the World Rally Championship has visited Mexico every year since it made its inaugural trip in 2004, although the event’s roots go back further when it was known as Rally America and held intermittently from 1979 onwards
|2016||Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila||Volkswagen Polo R WRC|
|2015||Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia||Volkswagen Polo R WRC|
|2014||Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia||Volkswagen Polo R WRC|
|2013||Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia||Volkswagen Polo R WRC|
|2012||Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena||Citroën DS3 WRC|
Rally Mexico schedule (GMT-6)
Wednesday 8th March
4.00pm: shakedown (Llano Grande)
10.00pm: start of the rally (León)
Thursday 9th March
6.05pm: SS1x – CDMX Street Stage Presented by Michelin 1 (1.57km)
SS1y – CDMX Street Stage Presented by Michelin 2 (1.57km)
Friday 10th March
10.00am: Service A (León – 15 min)
11.28am: SS2 – El Chocolate 1 (54.90km)
12.36pm: SS3 – Las Minas 1 (19.68 km)
2.41pm: Service B (León – 30 min)
4.14pm: SS4 – El Chocolate 2 (54.90km)
5.22pm: SS5 – Las Minas 2 (19.68km)
6.12pm: Additional headlamp fitting zone (Guanajuato – 10 min)
6.34pm: SS6 – Guanajuato Street Stage (1.09km)
7.49pm: SS7 – Autódromo de León 1 (2.30km)
7.54pm: SS8 – Autódromo de León 2 (2.30km)
9.04pm: Flexi Service C (León – 45 min)
Saturday 11th March
7.30am: Service D (León – 15 min)
8.33am: SS9 – Media Luna 1 (27.42km)
10.01am: SS10 – Lajas de Oro 1 (38.31km)
11.08am: SS11 – El Brinco 1 (10.09km)
12.58pm: Service E (León – 30 min)
2.16pm: SS12 – Media Luna 2 (27.42km)
3.49pm: SS13 – Lajas de Oro 2 (38.31km)
4.37pm: SS14 – El Brinco 2 (10.09km)
5.47pm: SS15 – Autódromo de León 3 (2.30km)
5.52pm: SS16 – Autódromo de León 4 (2.30km)
6.57pm: Flexi Service F (León – 45 min)
8.50pm: SS17 – Street Stage Feria de León (1.33km)
9.00pm: Parc ferme
Sunday 12th March
9.40am: Service G (León – 45 min)
10.43am: SS18 – La Calera (32.96km)
12.18pm: SS19 – Derramadero Power Stage (21.94km)
1.53pm: Service H (León – 10 min)