TOYOTA READY FOR THE HEAT AND HEIGHTS OF RALLY MEXICO
From the snow and ice of Sweden, Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team move to the heat and energy-sapping altitude of Mexico this week to contest the third round of the 2019 World Rally Championship.
Ott Tänak leads the drivers’ standings going into the event having posted a dominant performance to claim victory last time out. His team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke are both past winners of the event.
Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen has high hopes for success: “After our brilliant win in Sweden, the team are feeling very confident that we can also have a good rally in Mexico. It is always a touch event, but over the past year we have done a lot of work to make our car more reliable in these conditions, while also improving its performance. Our pre-event testing in Spain last week went well and we’re feeling ready.”
Tänak added: “As championship leaders, we will have to run first on the road on Friday. It won’t be easy, but we saw in Mexico last year that it’s possible to have a good result from this position, so let’s see how it goes.”
As well as usually being one of the hottest events on the WRC calendar, with ambient temperatures around 30°C, Rally Mexico is also the highest round of the season. The route peaks at 2,737m above sea level, where the thinner air reduces engine power by as much as 20 per cent.
The rally begins on Thursday evening with the spectacular stage through the streets and tunnels of Guanajuato. Another street stage runs next to the service park in Leon on Friday and Saturday, together with laps of the city’s race circuit. On Sunday the new Mesa Cueta stage features the first half of Friday’s El Chocolate test, while a second visit to Las Minas runs as the rally-ending Power Stage.
Event pictures will be uploaded here: