WRC Ogier leads 29-car entry for 2017 Rally Mexico
RALLY GUANAJUATO CORONA 2017, March 9-12, 2017
2017 FIA World Rally Championship, round 3
For immediate release
Monday, February 27th, 2017
DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPION SÉBASTIEN OGIER TOPS 29-CAR ENTRY FOR RALLY MEXICO
· Mexico City super special stage of 1.57km to be run twice in Zócalo, Mexico DF
MEXICO CITY (Mexico): Rally officials have announced an impressive entry for Rally Guanajuato Corona 2017, the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship, taking place on March 9-12.
Heading a field of 12 Priority 1 drivers, five Priority 2 entrants and 12 additional teams will be the defending World Champions, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, making their third appearance as part of their new M-Sport World Rally Team.
Ogier took the decision to drive a Ford Fiesta WRC following Volkswagen Motorsport’s withdrawal from the sport at the end of the 2016 season and the Frenchman has already claimed victory in Monte Carlo and third position in Sweden this year to hold second place in the championship standings. He is chasing a fourth victory across the demanding gravel tracks of the Bajio and Guanajuato region.
In Mexico, Ogier will come face-to-face with former team-mate and current championship leader Jari-Matti Latvala, the Finn now heading the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team and fresh from winning the last round in Sweden. This will be the first appearance for the new Toyota Yaris WRC in Mexico and Latvala’s and fellow Finn Juho Hänninen’s first proper test on gravel in high temperatures against fierce competition. Latvala won here last year with Volkswagen and has made an impressive start to the 2017 season with his new team.
While Ogier is joined in M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiestas by Ott Tanak, Elfyn Evans and Lorenzo Bertelli, Hyundai Motorsport fields its settled line-up of three i20 Coupe WRCs for Kiwi Hayden Paddon, Spaniard Dani Sordo and Belgian Thierry Neuville.
The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team has rejoined the series after a year on the sidelines to develop the C3 WRC and Ulsterman Kris Meeke and Frenchman Stéphane Lefebvre drive the two factory cars in Mexico, with Ireland’s Craig Breen missing out on this occasion. Valery Gorban completes the P1 driver line-up in a BMW-Mini John Cooper Works.
Five crews have opted to chase WRC 2 points in Mexico. Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand heads the field in a Skoda Fabia R5 and is joined by Frenchman Eric Camilli in an M-Sport Ford, Pole Hubert Ptaszek, Chilean driver Pedro Heller and local hero Benito Guerra.
The remainder of the field is made up of eight Mexican drivers, including Ricardo Trivino and Francisco Díaz, the Qatari driver Khalid Al-Suwaidi and entrants from Colombia, Canada, the USA and Costa Rica.
Mexican officials have now confirmed that the opening super special to be staged in Zócalo (Mexico DF’s main square) in the heart of the capital for the first time will now be run on two occasions. Cars will tackle the first of two runs through the 1.57km stage from 18.05hrs, before the vehicles are loaded on to transporters and returned to León overnight on Thursday, March, 9th.
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