The FIA World Rally Championship season premiere at home not only provided a podium finish but also added high hopes on the future, now Swedish rally duo Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Patrik Barth are in Mexico to once again tackle the rocky roads in the WRC2 class together with Toksport WRT.
The colorful framing and beautiful views make arguably Mexico’s WRC rally one of the most appreciated competitions of the year. But in addition to the visual delights, a demanding challenge for both drivers and cars awaits.
The high altitudes, more than 2700 meters above sea level, combined with temperatures up to 30 degrees, set high standards in terms of endurance and materials.
This will be Tidemand’s third Rally Mexico and he will start with good memories from previous years, in his portfolio, there are two victories in the WRC2 class in 2017 and 2018.
On Monday, a test was held in Mexico, which Tidemand and Barth got a taste of what to expect in the coming days.
“When it’s 30 degrees on the outside, we have almost 50 degrees inside the car. The thin air also throttles the engines, which can lose nearly 20 percent of efficiency. You have to drive smart and clean because it takes longer than usual to recover from a mistake,” Tidemand said.
“I’m a big fan of Rally Mexico, it is a fun competition with many, and above all, happy and enthusiastic, spectators who trigger the mood. The roads are cool and I like the arrangement with varied stages and the challenge of how to get the best out of the car at such a high altitude.”
“The car works just as well as last time, just like our teamwork both inside and outside the car. We really enjoyed Toksport in Sweden so it feels like we have another awesome weekend ahead of us. Even though we have only had a small test day now, we are ready to go out and fight. As usual, we aim high and will do everything possible to achieve a successful result.”
Rally Mexico is the first gravel competition of the season with the event including 24 tough special stages. The base is located in the city of Léon in the area of Guanajuato, and the weekend begins with two stages that annually attract large crowds on the streets of Guanajuato.