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Rally Mexico sets up 80km marathon stage

The itinerary for Rally Mexico 2016 is announced with a marathon 80km stage on Sunday morning, claimed to be the longest WRC stage for 30 years
The itinerary for this year's Rally Mexico in WRC has been revealed with the highlight of a marathon 80km stage on the morning of the final day of action, which is claimed to be the longest WRC stage for 30 years.

The new test will include sections of last year's Guanajuatito, which measured in at a sizeable 55km, and the renamed Guanajuato stage will restart the action on Sunday morning for Rally Mexico on the 3-6 March 2016.

Mexico's leading WRC driver Benito Guerra Jr, who has competed in the last six WRC events held in his home county with the highlight of finishing sixth for M-Sport Ford in 2014, predicts the single stage will take approximately 52 minutes for the leading WRC drivers and feels hosting it on Sunday morning will be a serious challenge to drivers' fitness and concentration.

“One of the toughest things is how long it takes,” Guerra Jr said. “I don't know the route yet, but that's roughly how long it'll take us. And 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.

“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."

WRC has explained the 2016 Guanajuato Rally Mexico itinerary follows a similar route to last year's with the majority of stages hosted in the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountain, north-east of Leon.

The ceremonial start at the Alhondiga de Granaditas remains with a route running underground in ancient mining tunnels.

Las Minas and El Chocolate stages return on Friday with the Los Mexicanos stage being dropped for 2016, before the rally moves on to a León street stage and then two more Super Special stages. On Saturday, the Ibarrilla and Otates and El Brinco stages make a comeback and the middle day ends with two Super Special Stages, followed by the León street stage.

Sunday commences with the marathon 80km Guanajuato stage before the finishing Power Stage to round out the action.

Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier made it a hat-trick of WRC wins in Mexico last year as part of his successful defence of the drivers' crown, with Citroen's Mads Ostberg finishing runner-up as Andreas Mikkelsen completed the top three.


Tagged as: Meeke , Rally Mexico , Ogier , volkswagen

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