2015 World Rally Championship | Rally Guanajuato México
Images by – André Lavadinho – @tWorld
This weekend MyDrive is your home for all the WRC action for Rally of Mexico. Ogier will be keen to defend his back to back wins in Mexico in 2013, 2014 and 2015 with another solid effort this week as he strives to make it three from three in his factory tuned Volkswagen Polo WRC car.
Rally Mexico is a tough race on crew, cars and drivers with teams competing high up in the Mexican mountains, robbing cars of 50HP due to heat and high altitude.
With teams poised for the start of Rally Mexico, crowds in their tens of thousands will line the streets ready to get a glimpse of their hero’s on famous Guanajuato Street Stage.
Motivation and a desire to succeed will not be lacking as they look to improve on the zero points registered not just at the rallies in Monte Carlo and Sweden, but also in Mexico last year.
Matching their own record – extra motivation for Volkswagen on the way to Mexico Unbeaten since the Rally Portugal in 2015 – eleven wins in a row.
In Mexico, Volkswagen has the chance to extend that run of victories, having already triumphed in Portugal, Italy, Poland, Finland, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, Great Britain, Monte Carlo and Sweden.
This would equal their own record, which was set between the Rally Australia 2013 and the Rally Finland 2014. To compare: the two longest winning runs were set by Volkswagen, with twelve and
eleven consecutive victories, while the third-best record belongs to Citroën with eight wins in a row.
The air gets thinner as you approach the summit: this is an apt description of the situation at round three of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
Reigning champions and current World Championship leaders. At the Rally Mexico (03–06 March) they will be starting from first and second place on the tricky gravel stages in Central Mexico.
Their Volkswagen team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) are eighth onto the route, and all share a common goal: to secure a fourth consecutive win for Volkswagen at extreme heights of up to 2,746 metres above sea level, which would also equal the current record of twelve straight victories for the Polo R WRC.
They must complete 399.71 kilometres against the clock over 21 special stages – including the longest and shortest stages ever contested by the Polo R WRC, at 80.00 and 1.09 kilometres respectively.
“We have to deal with extreme situations in Mexico,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “The special stages are the highest of the entire season; we will face the longest stage of the year, and the shortest too in the tunnels of Guanajuato. We travel to Mexico with Sébastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen in first and second place in the World Championship standings – this is anything but an easy task, as they must deal with the disadvantage of opening the route“. Jari-Matti Latvala also has a good starting position in eighth.
The “Roof of the World Rally Championship” is at 2,746 metres above sea level. The most challenging aspect of this is the gradual decrease in oxygen levels as the rally climbs ever higher: this means that there is less fuel for the combustion chambers of the 1.6-litre turbo engines.
The engineers had to work hard to find a solution that makes the most of the circumstances without adversely affecting the stability of the engine, allowing them to counter a reduction in performance of up to 30 per cent.
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