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For round three of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship, the competitors travel to Rally Mexico (March 7-10) where high temperatures and high altitude provide considerably different challenges to those experienced in the opening two winter events in Europe. First held as a WRC event 15 years ago, the León-based gravel rally has proven popular ever since with its compact route and colourful atmosphere.

Run in the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains, the rally climbs to a height of 2’700 metres above sea level, where the thinner air deprives the engines of oxygen, which can result in a potential power loss of up to 20 per cent. Ambient temperatures of up to 30°C add additional stress to the machinery. Teams take special measures to ensure the reliability of their cars, and the drivers must adapt their driving styles to the conditions.
 
With three different manufacturers sharing the podium in both of the opening rounds – and two different crews on the top step – it has been a thrilling start to the season, and Rally Mexico promises to add another exciting episode to the story. Ten World Rally Car drivers will battle it out on the Central American stages, with Dani Sordo making his debut on the championship this year in the Hyundai i20 Coupé driven by Sébastien Loeb in the opening two events of the season. As part of his preparations for Rally Mexico, the Spaniard, who finished second in Mexico in 2018, competed – and won – Rali Serras de Fafe in Portugal last weekend, the opening round on gravel of the Iberian FIA European Rally Trophy.
 
In the FIA WRC 2 Pro category, Poland’s Lucasz Pieniazek (M-Sport) will pilot a Ford Fiesta R5 car, alongside four FIA WRC 2 entrants: Benito Guerra from Mexico, Marco Bulacia Wilkinson from Colombia and the Heller brothers, Pedro and Alberto, from Chile.
 
All of the stages can be watched live on WRC All Live on WRC+, with three stages additionally broadcast live on television: SS12 and SSS15 (El Brinco) and the rally-ending SS21, Las Minas Power Stage.

THE 2019 ROUTE
 
The Rally Mexico route features only minor changes compared to 2018. The event traditionally holds its stunning opening stage in the colourful town of Guanajuato on Thursday evening, where the crews take on the city’s narrow streets and former mining tunnels. Friday includes two runs over the rally’s epic “El Chocolate” test, the season’s highest point at more than 2’737m. Both Friday and Saturday’s itineraries feature a street stage in León and two runs around the city’s racing circuit. Saturday is the longest day of this year’s rally, with an extended Otates, the longest stage of the rally with 32.27 kilometres. The day also includes El Brinco, where the famous jump has been replaced by a man-made ramp in a dry reservoir which should contribute to a spectacular finish. On Sunday, the penultimate Mesa Cuata stage is new, using the opening half of El Chocolate before turning towards Guanajuato, where the Las Minas Power Stage will finish.

RALLY DATA
 

Total distance: 1,003.49 km
Stage distance: 303.87 km (31%)
Number of stages: 21

MEDIA ACCREDITATION
 
The Accreditation Centre is located in the Media Centre in Léon, in the Expo-Feria building of the fairgrounds in Rally Campus. The opening hours are :
 

Tuesday 5 March 14:00 – 18:00 hrs
Wednesday 6 March 08:00 – 18:00 hrs
Thursday 7 March 08:00 – 18:00 hrs

 
RALLY MEXICO TIMETABLE AND MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES ORGANISED BY THE FIA
 

Wednesday 6 March  
Mandatory media safety briefing, Photographers’ Room, Media Center 17:00 hrs
   
Thursday 7 March  
Shakedown (P1) 10:00 – 13:00 hrs
Shakedown (P2P + P2) 12:00 – 14:00 hrs
Shakedown (Others) 14:00 – 15:00 hrs
‘Meet the Crews’, Service Park, WRC stage, Léon 13:30 hrs
Health Rally Kids photo shooting & gift donation 13:50 hrs
FIA Press Conference, Press Room, Media Center, Léon 14:15 hrs
Opening ceremony incl. presentation of the drivers, Guanajuato City 19:00 hrs
Start of the Rally (SS1), Guanajuato City 20:08 hrs
   
Friday 8 March  
First car arrives for regroup, service and Media Zone, Léon 13:14 hrs
Drivers’ autograph session 10′ During the 40′ service
First car arrives for final service and Media Zone, Léon 20:03 hrs
‘Meet the Crews’, Service Park, Léon During the 45’ service
   
Saturday 9 March  
First car arrives for regroup, service and Media Zone, Léon 12:23 hrs
Drivers’ autograph session 10′ During the 40′ service
First car arrives for final service and Media Zone, Léon 20:21 hrs
‘Meet the Crews’, Service Park, Léon During the 45’ service
   
Sunday 10 March  
Regroup, San Nicolas 11:23 hrs
First car arrives for final service (10’), Service Park, Léon 13:53 hrs
Prize-Giving and podium ceremony, Foro del Lago, Rally Campus 15:00 hrs
FIA Press Conference, Press Room, Media Center, Léon 16:00 hrs

FIA PRESS CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE
 

Thursday 7 March Ott Tanäk (EST), Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team
  Sébastien Ogier (FRA), Citroën Total World Rally Team
  Elfyn Evans (GBR), M-Sport Ford World Rally Team
  Dani Sordo (SPA), Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team
  Lukasz Pieniazek (POL), FIA WRC 2 Pro Championship, M-Sport Ford
  Benito Guerra (MEX), FIA WRC 2 Pro Championship
  Alberto Heller (CHIL) FIA WRC 2 Championship
   
Sunday 10 March Winning FIA WRC 2 Pro Championship crew
  Winning FIA WRC 2 Championship crew
  Top three crews in the overall classification
  Representative of the winning manufacturer

MANUFACTURER ENTRIES, RALLY MEXICO
 

Citroën Total WRT Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (#1)
  Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (#4)
   
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger (#89)
  Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (#11)
  Dani Sordo / Carlos Del Barrio (#6)
   
M-Sport Ford WRT Teemu Suninen / Marko Salminen (#3)
  Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (#33)
   
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (#10)
  Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (#8)
  Kris Meeke / Sebastian Marshall (#5)

 

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATIONS
 
The provisional classifications for all the WRC Championships is available on the following link:
https://www.fia.com/events/world-rally-championship/season-2019/standings
 



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