The big unknown about Rally Mexico
- 2nd March 2017, 9:42pm
The biggest uncertainty facing the four WRC teams going to Mexico this year concerns the effect of the altitude, the highest in the championship (up to 2746 metres), on the power outputs for the 2017 World Rally Cars.
This is the first round of the WRC where the more powerful 2017 cars will be competing on abrasive gravel roads.
With testing in Mexico officially banned under WRC rules (Volkswagen were the last team allowed to do this, carried out before they were registered for the championship), Citroen, Hyundai and Toyota all went testing in the Almeria region of South Spain.
Traditionally the highest roads in Europe are in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains.
Citroen expect that there will be an average power loss due to altitude of 60bhp, Hyundai estimate that the 2017 cars will produce about the same power as the old 2016 cars, Toyota suggest a loss of around 20%, while M-Sport, whose pre-Mexico testing was confined to the Cardona region of Northern Spain, note than the barometric pressure loss at altitude will be about 25%.
The most critical factor on last year’s Mexico Rally was the 80km stage, which this year has been shortened.
- Martin Holmes
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