When travelling around the Joux Plane passes or Morzine region between the 3rd and 5th of September 2009, visitors will be probably run into the participants of the Mont Blanc Rally, which is being hosted for the 61st time this year. Travelling though the mountainous regions and narrow roads, drivers put their own skills and abilities to the test, and with both day and night races, the Mont Blanc Rally is a wonderful and exciting event for spectators.
Won by Danny Snobeck last year, auto racing enthusiasts are encouraged to attend this event and enjoy the thrill and festivities of the Mont Blanc Rally.
Date: 3-5 September 2009
Venue: Various Locations
Registration for Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations, is now closed. With a total of thirteen countries all represented by great drivers, there will be no clear favorite to scale the podium. Eight European countries and five from the Americas will be in charge of providing the spectacle in Guanajuato, Mexico from July 9th to 12th.
Germany, Austria, Ecuador, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, the United States, Great Britain, Peru, Uruguay, Sweden and Mexico are the countries that will be competing in the Rally of Nations, each represented by two crews, except for Mexico and the United States, which will have six and four crews each, respectively, making up three Mexican teams and two from the US.
One of the most innovative features of this rally is its scoring system, whereby points are tallied for each driver individually, as well as by country. At the end of each day, a points table is complied, so time differences are irrelevant. The points table defines the starting positions for the next day and so on, up to the awards ceremony on Sunday.
The line-up of drivers that have confirmed their presence at Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations edition, is quite a draw. For Finland, there will be Harri Rovanperä and Toni Gardemeister; representing Spain, Dani Sola and Xavi Pons; for Austria, Manfred Stohl and Andreas Aigner; from France, Didier Auriol and Brice Tirabassi; representing Italy, Mario Isola and Stefano Marrini; for Germany, Hermann Gassner Jr. and Mark Wallenwein; from Great Britain, Niall McShea and Phillip Morrow; from Ecuador, Juan Pablo Villota and Camilo Rivera; representing Sweden, Per-Gunnar Andersson and Patrick Sandell; for Uruguay, Felipe Guelfi and Diego Elola; from Peru, Humberto Tijero and Sandro Pestana; for the United States, Matthew Johnson and Kenny Bartram, in team 1 and Patrick Moro and Piotr Wiktorczyk in team 2; and last but not least, representing Mexico, Benito Guerra and Rodrigo Ordoñez in team 1, Ricardo Treviño and Rodrigo Salgado in team 2, and Francisco Name and José Cortés in team 3.
Already brimming with competitiveness and adrenaline, there will be an extra touch to this particular adventure as all the drivers will be competing on equal terms in N4 cars and subject to the same rules, so it will be entirely down to the skill of the crew to define the winner.
With all these attractions, Mexico and the state of Guanajuato are ready to bid a warm welcome to all the competitors, teams, fans and media, to what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable event.
The Corona Rally Mexico continues to register world-class drivers. Now, Didier Auriol and Brice Tirabassi have joined forces to form Team France. Each with an impressive record of championships to his name, the two have confirmed their presence in Mexico and expressed their desire to compete in this Rally of Nations, an event they praise for its innovative format.
Didier Auriol is one of the key French names in the rallying world, having been World Champion in 1994 and achieving six victories in one season in 1992, a record that remained unbroken until 2005, when his fellow countryman, Sebastien Loeb, achieved ten.
Having competed for 16 years in the ultimate world rally circuit, Auriol has 20 victories to his name, placing him in seventh place on the list of winning drivers in the World Rally Championship, just behind other major names such as Sebastien Loeb, Marcus Gronholm, Carlos Sainz, Colin McRae, Tommi Makinen and Juha Kankkunen.
Auriol Claimed: “The concept of competing for a nation is a great idea, it gives an extra motivation because you represent your country just like an athlet at the olympic games. On top of that it’s a kind of “flash-back” in the motorsport history when the cars had their country’s color:red for italy, blue for france and so on. About the rally itself I am really looking for it because both Sebastien Loeb and my co-driver Denis told me about the fantastic mountain stages, the very compact route and the beauty of the area, specially Guanajuato. Even if I am not competing so much anymore I have still a strong motivation to win and to bring together with my team mate Brice Tirabassi the best possible result for the french squad.” He finished.
His co-team member in Team France, Brice Tirabassi, is not far behind him, which guarantees a first-rate team. Champion in France in 2002 and World Junior Champion in 2003, Tirabassi has won rallies in his category in Monte Carlo, France and Cyprus.
The 32-year old driver has made it clear that, despite his being this his first rally in Mexico, he has no intention of becoming an also-ran, and expressed how much he is looking forward to enjoying the event and Guanajuato, based on the excellent comments he has heard about both.
Auriol and Tirabassi have praised the format of the event, assuring a worldwide success, where they hope to bring victory to their country.
Major international figures continue to join the line-up of participants for Corona Rally Mexico in its Rally of Nations edition. Now, it is Austria’s turn to secure its participation with the current world champion in the production car category, Andreas Aigner, and Manfred Stohl, two of the most successful drivers this Central European country has ever produced. Both drivers have expressed their enthusiasm about competing in Mexico and their desire to win the coveted title.
With rally victories in Monte Carlo, France, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia under his belt, and the experience of having raced in WRC teams before, Manfred Stohl will compete in the Corona Rally Mexico, where in 2006 he was so successful, Stohl making it to the podium as a team member of OMV, having finished in third place just behind Sebastien Loeb and Peter Solberg.
“Mexico was a great opener to a fantastic 2006 for me, as I made the third place in a WRC car with a private team. The Corona Rally Mexico is a great event, very well organized and with an excellent crew. It will be an excellent competition and I’m ready to be there,” said Stohl.
Andreas Aigner has the best credentials: the Austrian driver is the current world champion in the production car category, and this being the official category at the Rally of Nations, he will surely be one of the favorites.
Aigner has already raced in Mexico, in 2007, and although he finished in eleventh place back then, the champion is confident: “I feel very good in Mexico; the atmosphere is incredible and the people are wonderful. They have a spectacular start”.
The Austrian team will compete behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX and are expected to arrive in Mexico in early July.
Alain Prost was born near Saint Chamond in the Loire region of central France on February 24, 1955. Although Alain was a physically small boy he had unlimited energy and would give his everything as he took part in many sporting activities including football where he broke his nose several times. At the age of 14 years he discovered kart racing on a family holiday and from then on he became obsessed with it, winning several karting championships. In 1974 he left school to take up racing full time and supported himself by becoming a kart distributor and tuning engines.
In 1975 he won the French senior karting championships and as a prize was given a season in Formula Renault where he won two driving titles and moved to Formula Three. During 1978 and 1979 he won both the European and French F3 championships, which made him wanted property by several Formula One teams. With much consideration he chose to sign up with McLaren for the 1980 season. His first Formula One season was inundated with accidents, breaking his wrist in one and suffering from concussion in another. One of the points of concern was that these accidents were caused mainly from mechanical failures and the other was Alain’s increasing loss of confidence in how the McLaren team was being run. With that he broke his two-year contract and moved over to Renault.
His first Formula One win came at the 1981 French Grand Prix at Dijon and from there on he kept up his winning streak with nine wins during his time with Renault. However, a change was inevitable, so Alain Prost and his wife Anne-Marie and their son Nicolas moved to Switzerland where Prost again joined the British-based team, McLaren in 1984. His six seasons with McLaren saw him win thirty races, three driving titles and runner-up twice. During 1985 and 1986 he became the first back-to-back French World Champion since Jack Brabham ten years ago. In 1987 he beat Jackie Stewart‘s 14-year-old record when he won his 28th Grand Prix.
In 1988 between Prost and Ayrton Senna they contributed a total of 15 victories to McLaren-Honda. From then on there was intense rivalry between the two, which drove the sport’s greatest drivers to heights of success and controversy unheard of before. McLaren continued to dominate throughout 1989 but with the Prost-Senna feud reaching the stage of out-right hatred, Prost decided to leave McLaren and join Ferrari. Prost won five races in his first year with Ferrari but lost the season end championship in Japan to fellow rival, Senna.
In 1991 Alain Prost failed to win a race and due to his public criticism of the team he was fired. The year 1992 saw him as a TV commentator but Prost returned to racing in 1993 and joined William-Renault where he won several races bringing his tally up to 51 wins. When faced with having Senna as his Williams team mate Prost decided to retire and instead become a TV commentator as well as working as an advisor and test driver for McLaren.
From 1997 to 2002, Alain Prost created and ran Prost Grand Prix. Since then he has regularly taken part in the Andros Ice Race series, as well as several bicycle races.