Mexico : OMV Peugeot Norway - Preview
The third round of the FIA World Rally Championship, the Corona Rally Mexico, represents this season's gravel debut for the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team.
Following tarmac in Monte Carlo and snow in Sweden, this run poses a
new challenge for Austrians Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor as well as Henning Solberg and Cato Menkerud from Norway. Even though the Rally Mexico is not counted among the classic gravel rallies, for the high altitude poses completely different technical challenges to the cars.
One percent less power per 100 metres difference in altitude
The World Rally Cars lose about one percent engine power per 100 metres altitude difference. The vicinity of Leon (approximately 3500 kilometres north of Mexico City) lies at about 2.500 metres sea level, which means Ύ of the usual engine power. It will be decisive which team will be best able to adapt to these circumstances and get the best possible performance out of the car. But I'm sure that Bozian Racing has prepared the Peugeot 307 WRC perfectly and we will be able to compete with the best, explains OMV driver Manfred Stohl.
The Austrian had already competed in Mexico two years ago back then in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship. Stohl: We already had problems on the first day and then had to retire on leg two. Even though I've almost forgotten this incident I still would like to wipe out this mistake. The OMV Team is well aware that they will have to put their foot down from kilometre one. Stohl: My two special stage best times in Monte Carlo give me confidence I want to compete right at the top.
At home on gravel
Even though the Sweden Rally was almost a home rally for Henning Solberg, the Norwegian is yet looking forward to Mexico. Having already won one WRC point, Manfred Stohl's OMV teammate is confident that he will also be able to score at the premiere in Mexico. Solberg: We already had a pretty good grip on the car in Sweden. Shortly thereafter we won the Rally Norway where we gained further experience. I'm really looking forward to this rally despite having never yet competed in Mexico. Especially since gravel is among my favourite surfaces.
360 special stage kilometres on 17 special stages
The Corona Rally Mexico will commence on Thursday (March, 2nd) at 21.00 in the picturesque former silver mining town Guanajuato. 17 special stages with an overall length of 359,54 kilometres are scheduled from Friday (March, 3rd) to Sunday (March, 5th). The overall length measures 1.002,47 kilometres. The finishing line will be crossed on Sunday at about 11:30 (local time).
This is Mexico
Area: 1.972.550 sq km
Population: 106.203.100 inhabitants
Population density: 54 people per sq km
Capital: Mexico City (18,7 million inhabitants)
Mexico became independent in 1810. The rally takes place in the Leon area (approximately 1 million inhabitants). Temperatures average at 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Press release OMV Peugeot Norway