Stars come out for Rally Mexico
- 17th February 2010, 12:45pm
In this year of major changes in the WRC, the ultimate rally class has registered 12 competitors, led by six-time world champion, Sébastien Loeb, who will be looking to maintain his unbroken record of three victories on Mexican soil, having won here in 2006, 2007 and 2008. His teammate, the Spaniard, Dani Sordo, will be trying to improve on the two fourth places he achieved in 2006 and 2007, and finally make the podium.
The BP Ford Abu Dhabi team's line-up will include championship runner-up Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, both of whom have only known the bottom rung of the podium in Mexico, their best-place position being third. Jari-Matti was close to victory in 2008 and will now be looking to make it a reality.
One driver sure to get the attention of the Mexican press and public is 2007 Formula One World Drivers' Champion, the Finn, Kimi Räikkönen, who this year, for the first time, will be competing in the World Rally Championship as part of the Citroën Junior Team, alongside promising young Frenchman, Sébastien Ogier.
Meanwhile, Petter Solberg, one of the favourites of the Mexican public, will be supported by his thousands of fans here. The Norwegian has already tasted victory in Mexico, having triumphed here in 2005. Now, aboard a Citroën C4, he'll be one to beat.
The S-WRC, a new event in the World Rally Championship, will boast international stars that are sure to cause a stir, with names such as Dakar Rally runner-up, Nasser Al-Attiyah, 2009 Rally of Nations winner, Xavier Pons, S-WRC runner-up Michal Kosciuszko, Albert Llovera, Martin Prokop, and the Norwegian, Eyvind Brynildsen.
The production class will be at fever pitch, what with its having two-time champion Toshi Arai and reigning champion Armindo Araujo amongst its ranks, drivers who certainly won't have things too easy up against competitors such as Giorgio Bacco, Gianluca Linari, and Mexican group N champion of the Rallyes de Tierra in Spain, Benito Guerra, as well as Rodrigo Salgado, Francisco Name and the welcome surprise, Michel Jourdain.
Michel Jourdain Jr. has participated in international single-seater championships, such as the Champ Car World Series, where his best place was third overall in 2003, after winning two races (Milwaukee and Montreal). He has competed in the Indy 500 and Nascar Busch Series, in the WTCC for the Seat Sport team and in four A1GP races for Team México. Now, for the first time, he’ll be taking part in a world championship rally.
This veritable constellation of stars will be lighting up the state of Guanajuato's bicentennial celebrations, at an event that forms part of its official festivities. Without a doubt, this year's Bicentennial Rally Mexico is one no true motorsport fan can afford to miss.
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