WRC Copec Rally Chile gets underway in Concepcion's Plaza de la Independencia
COPEC RALLY CHILE, May 9-12, 2019
2019 FIA World Rally Championship, round 6
For immediate release
Thursday, May 9th, 2019
COPEC RALLY CHILE GETS UNDERWAY IN CONCEPCIÓN’S PLAZA DE LA INDEPENDENCIA
· Competitive action fires into life with opening El Pinar stage on Friday morning
CONCEPCIÓN (CHILE): Copec Rally Chile, the brand new sixth round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), gets underway in Concepción’s Plaza de la Independencia on Thursday evening.
The fanfare ceremonial start to the WRC’s latest addition to the global calendar marks the third country in South America to host a round of the World Rally Championship. Brazil hosted a rally in 1981 and 1982 and the Rally of Argentina has been a regular host since 1980.
The ceremonial start location in the centre of downtown Concepción has significant importance in the recent history of Chile as well. It was from here that Bernardo O’ Higgins made the solemn declaration of Chilean independence from Spanish rule.
On New Year’s Day 1818, O’Higgins - a wealthy landowner of Spanish and Irish ancestry - made the declaration before his army and Plaza de Armas de Concepción was renamed after a series of conflicts with Spanish forces.
Chile duly proclaimed itself an independent republic on February 12th, 1818, although Chilean Independence Day is generally recognised to be September 18th, 1810 – the first meeting of an official government - and is still celebrated on that date to this day.
Thousands of spectators are expected to attend the event’s historic start and witness the world’s finest rally drivers close up and personal before the real meat of the action gets underway over the region’s unique loose surface terrain from Friday.
Fifty-five of the 63 cars on the original entry list and competitors from 16 countries are listed on the official ceremonial start list after scrutineering and administration checks. Chilean drivers Diego and Marcelo Pérez are in the first group for that ceremonial start and have been given the task of creating history and crossing the start podium at the front of the field in their respective Peugeot 208s.
There are just six gravel special stages on Friday between Chile’s Pacific coast and the Rio Biobío. The 17.11km of El Pinar is first on the agenda, starting at 08.00hrs, and running in a narrow loop to below the coastal town of Lota, situated on the Gulf of Arauco to the south of Concepción.
Crews will then tackle the first of two runs through El Puma (09.33hrs) and Espigado (10.36hrs) before returning to Talcahuano for a lunchtime regroup and service. El Puma is the longest stage of the entire event at 30.72km, starts shortly after the village of Descabezado and is linked to Espigado (22.26km) by a twisty liaison section of just over 25km.
The two timed tests are repeated on Friday afternoon at 15.39hrs and 16.42hrs before remote refuelling in Santa Juana, a regroup in Concepción and the final stage of the day – an asphalt super special stage of just 2.20km close to the city centre to entertain the crowds from 18.55hrs.
For further media information:
Copec Rally Chile 2019, Media Centre, Puerto Marina Convention Centre, Talcahuano, Concepción, Chile. Contact Alvaro Lavin (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rodrigo Castillo (email@example.com), Lluisa Torres (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Neil Perkins (email@example.com).