Huge crowds will pack the iconic Zócalo square to watch exciting new-era World Rally Cars fight for tenths of a second at the opening two speed tests of Rally Guanajuato Mexico, the third round of the 2017 season.
Live television will broadcast the city spectacular in the evening of Thursday 9 March (local time) to a global audience for what promises to be one of the biggest occasions in the WRC’s 45-year history.
Mexico City ranks on the fringes of the world’s top 10 biggest population cities and Zócalo is perhaps best known as the location for the amazing helicopter stunts which launched ‘Spectre’ in 2015.
The rally will build a 1.57km asphalt test in the square and surrounding streets, an area more accustomed to receiving foreign heads of state and hosting national celebrations than echoing to the sound of new-specification World Rally Cars.
It will be driven twice by all the WRC’s star drivers, including championship leader and 2016 rally winner Jari-Matti Latvala and four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier, to provide a full evening’s entertainment.
Afterwards cars and competitors will be transported 400km south-east to the rally base of León for three days of high-temperature dirt road special stages in the mountains of the Guanajuato region.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said there was a massive sense of anticipation within the championship.
“Mexico City boasts a population of more than 20 million people and since the championship’s launch in 1973, it’s hard to identify another city event quite as spectacular as we believe this will be. I’m sure the skills of our WRC drivers will be a match for James Bond at the wheel!” he said.
Zócalo is the latest example of Rally Mexico’s innovative approach. In recent years the rally has been launched with a unique underground special stage through former silver mine tunnels in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Guanajuato.