WRC Ambitious Mexico City start and street stage for Rally Mexico 2017

RALLY GUANAJUATO CORONA 2017, March 9-12, 2017
2017 FIA World Rally Championship, round 3

For immediate release
Thursday, February 2nd, 2017


· Competitors to reach heart of Mexico City by charter ‘plane for ground-breaking start
· FIA pre-event press conference to be staged inside renowned Casa de los Azulejos

MEXICO CITY (Mexico): Mexican officials have announced ambitious plans to stage the pre-event press conference, ceremonial start and opening super special stage of Rally Guanajuato Corona 2017 in the heart of Mexico City, around 330km from the traditional León base of the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Administration checks, reconnaissance and scrutineering will take place as usual in the Guanajuato area and the traditional shakedown stage has been moved to Wednesday, March 8th to enable the entire fleet of cars to be loaded on to transporters in the early hours of Thursday, March 9th. They will then be taken on a six-hour road journey to a holding area in Zócalo (Mexico DF’s main square) in the heart of the capital.

Competitors, senior team officials and select members of the accredited media will rendezvous at Del Bajío airport, near León, from 07.00hrs on Thursday, March 9th and will be transported by charter ‘planes to Mexico City airport and then shuttled by bus to the centre of the city.

Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, the Mayor of Mexico City, will host a breakfast and this will precede the official FIA pre-event press conference to be held in a media room inside Casa de los Azulejos, a spectacular 18th-century palace built by the Count del Valle de Orizaba family.

There will be ample time for competitors to take part in various PR activities before the ceremonial start takes centre stage from 19.10hrs in the awesome location of Zócalo, made famous in recent years by the dramatic opening scenes of the James Bond movie Spectre. Zócalo was the main ceremonial centre in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and is also known as Plaza de la Constitución.

There will also be a photo call with all competitors in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral – the largest of its kind in the Americas - before the ceremonial start.

Competitors will then tackle a short street stage of 1.71km in front of what rally officials predict will be tens of thousands of spectators – even outnumbering the vast audiences that turned out in previous years to watch the start in historic downtown Guanajuato. Cars will then be reloaded on to transporters, competitors will return to Leon via charter ‘plane and the scheduled returns to its normal format from Friday, March 10th.

“This is not a small undertaking by any means, but it’s a major modification to the format of Rally Mexico that we are all looking forward to,” said Rally Director Patrick Suberville. “Bringing the rally to the heart of one of the busiest cities on the planet will create massive interest amongst the local people and enable individuals who would not have otherwise seen the rally to witness the action first hand.”

The official entry list will be published on Thursday, February 16th.


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Date issued: 02/02/2017

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