Following the announcement in December that the 2016 Guanajuato Rally México would feature a 50-mile stage organisers have unveiled the route that competitors will be taking.
The third round on the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship will be named Guanajuato and incorporate sections of last year’s Guanajuatito test.
Speaking at the launch of the 2016 event, Benito Guerra Jr., Mexico’s leading WRC driver said, “One of the toughest things is how long it takes. For the fastest drivers, it will take them around 52 or 53 minutes. I don’t know the route yet, but that’s roughly how long it’ll take us.
The new route is set to open the Sunday proceedings and Guerra Jr. believes it has the potential to disrupt the order, “What most worries me about that stage is that it’s on the Sunday, because it’s one thing to do it on the Friday morning, when you’re still fresh, but racing over 80 km on the Sunday after the full rally will be very interesting,” he explained.
“You have to keep a steady pace during that stage; keep up your concentration. And above all, make sure you’re in peak physical condition so that your body can withstand it.”
While the new challenge brings the longest stage in WRC for 30 years, much of the other routes on the rally will remain similar to 2015 as competitors take on Sierra de Lobos and the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains north and east of León.
A ceremonial start will take place at Alhóndiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato city before things get underway with sections of the first stage taking place underground in ancient mining tunnels. Drivers will the head to the Autodromo racetrack in León for two runs of the Super Special stage.
Los Mexicanos has been dropped for 2016 but Las Minas and El Chocolate are back for the Friday, followed by the León Street Stage and then two more Super Specials at the racetrack.
Saturday will bring Ibarrilla and Otates and El Brinco test followed by a run through Agua Zarca (a section of Ibarrilla run in reverse). Saturday will end with two Super Special stages followed by the León street stage.
Sunday opens with the epic challenge of Guanajuato, followed by the rally closing Power Stage.
The 2016 Guanajuato Rally México statrt on 3 March and runs through to 6 March.