The season premiere on home turf didn’t only result in a podium finish, it also left the Swedish duo Pontus Tidemand and his co-driver Patrik Barth wanting more. They have arrived in Mexico to once again fight for the desirable points in the WRC 2 category together with Toksport World Rally Team.
The colorful setting and the beautiful scenery make without a doubt Rally Mexico one of the most appreciated WRC events of the year. But aside from the visual beauty awaits a challenge that is extremely toguh on drivers as well as cars. The high altitude, over 2700 meters above sea level, combined with temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius, put high demands on endurance as well as machine.
”When it’s 30 degrees Celcius outside the car, we have almost 50 degrees inside the cockpit. The thin air makes it more difficult for the engines and they lose nearly 20 percent of their power. You need to drive smart and clean since it takes longer than usual to recover from a mistake” said Pontus.
Rally Mexico is the first gravel event of the season and over the weekend, 24 tough special stages will be mastered. The base is located in the city of Leon, in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Guanajuato, and the weekend kicks off with two spectator stages that every year attracts big crowds on the streets of Guanajuato. That is followed by three eventful days with classic Mexican rally action, where the long, rough gravel stages are mixed with short but intense and spectator friendly stages – among them a stage that is less than a kilometre long, which makes it the shortest stage in the history of the WRC.
This is Pontus’ third time in Mexico and he has great memories from previous years; in 2017 and 2018 he won the WRC 2 class.
”I’m a big fan of Rally Mexico” said Pontus. “This is a fun event with lots of happy and enthusiastic spectators that create an amazing atmosphere. The roads are demanding but really cool to drive and I like the format with long and short stages and the challenge of getting the most out of the car on such high altitude.”
On Monday a small test was conducted and Pontus and Patrik got the first taste of what they can expect over the next days.
”The car works just as well as last time, just like our teamwork both inside and outside of the car. We really enjoyed working with Toksport in Sweden and I’m sure we have yet another awesome weekend ahead of us. Although we only had one test day this time, we feel more than ready to go out there and battle it out on the Mexican gravel. As usual, we aim high and we will do our absolute best to get a good result on Sunday” said Pontus.