RALLY MEXICO GOES BOND
The location for the opening scene of Bond film Spectre will be used as a superspecial stage at next month’s Rally Mexico.
The agreement to take over Mexico City’s main square has been years in the making and will involve the organisers sending the competitors’ cars on a 500-mile round trip south for the mile-long superspecial on Thursday, March 9.
Rally director Patrick Suberville is confident his team will pack 250,000 fans into the 57,600-square-metre area, known as Zocalo. This is the first time the event has visited the nation’s capital and its nine million-strong population.
“We’re really excited about this,” Suberville told MN. “It’s a really big deal for us. Taking Rally Mexico to Mexico City will raise the profile enormously, it will open up the sport to a whole new bunch of fans.”
Suberville’s plan was given universal backing from the manufacturers, FIA and WRC Promoter. The cars will be transported by road to and from the stage while the crews and officials will be flown south to the city on chartered planes.
Rally Argentina organisers did the same thing 10 years ago, when the South American classic began with a stage in River Plate’s football stadium. Unfortunately, rain and fog grounded planes and delayed team personnel travelling back to Cordoba. The following day’s gravel stages were all cancelled.
The journey from Leon to Mexico City is a third of the distance of the plan in Argentina back in 2007.
Friday’s competition starts two hours later than usual, with the crews not expected to arrive back in service until after midnight after the previous night’s Mexico City test. The famous, underground Guanajuato street stage will now run on Friday night.
In addition to the all-new superspecial, Rally Mexico organisers have implemented further route changes. The 50-mile Guanajuato stage has been lost from the final day, accounting for much of a 20-mile drop in total competitive mileage, which falls from 249 to a total of 229.
Mexico’s reputation for endurance remains with the likes of the 34-mile El Chocolate test running on day two.
Square will host big special stage