Today’s final two stages saw the Spanish team confirm the lead it had built up over the three days of the Rally Corona México, Rally of Nations, to be finally proclaimed winners. Xevi Pons and Dani Solà were victorious in ten of the rally’s eighteen stages, accumulating a total of 1,067.5 points, followed in second place by Austrians Manfred Stohl and Andreas Aigner, who together won on four occasions. At the close of the competition, 128 points separated the two countries. The last place on the podium was taken by France, led by Didier Auriol, who, with the help of Brice Tirabassi, managed the fastest time on only one of the stages. Spain,
therefore, takes away the 50,000-dollar first prize.
Austrian driver Stohl has no reason to feel defeated, however, his being the fastest individual driver with a winning total time of 2’57:28.7 for the 18 stages, just 14.4 seconds faster than his fellow countryman Aigner. Stohl, meanwhile, walks away with 15,000 dollars for being the fastest driver on each day of the competition.
The final order of the first ten places remained unchanged from yesterday, the drivers setting out today to hold on to their positions, though still putting on quite a show for the hundreds of fans who gathered on the Guanajuato sierra, and at León’s racetrack, where the Scotiabank Super Special stage took place. The prize-giving and closing ceremony took place, as it does
every year, at the Foro del Lago, where fans came to say goodbye to the competitors.
This first edition of the Rally of Nations was enjoyed by all those who took part, all of whom expressed their admiration for this new format, one which will undoubtedly draw many more competitors in the future. The first edition of this event confirms the enormous popularity of the state of Guanajuato’s roads as a venue for rallies, it having brought together major names
from the rallying world, as can be seen from its line-up.
Rally of Nations’ unofficial positions
The world of auto racing certainly has something for everyone. While most people focus on mainstream auto racing, there are those who prefer to look for a more exclusive avenue of the sport. If you’re one of those people, you may well find that Targa Racing is for you.
Targa Racing is not a terribly new concept. It got its start at the Targa Florio, a motor racing event that used to take place regularly on the island of Sicily. When this event was finally brought to an end, the concept of tarmac-based road rally racing did not end with it. Instead it continued to spread, so that today it is an internationally recognized avenue of auto racing that enjoys great support from both drivers and fans.
The basic competition concept evident in Targa Racing has been carefully drawn up over the years by borrowing certain rules and guidelines from other events. The end result is that it is now based on the best aspects of the Mille Miglia, the Tour de Corse and the Coupe des Alpes. Competition is fierce and the rally is run regularly at various locations across the globe. Many are surprised to find that even the island state of Tasmania in Australia has been hosting an annual Targa Racing event since 1992. It is known as Targa Tasmania. Other popular editions of the rally include Targa Newfoundland, which is based in Canada, Targa New Zealand and Targa West which is run in Western Australia. There are also considerably more events, though smaller than those already mentioned.
Targa Newfoundland is a particularly popular edition of the sport. It has already been running for more than seven years and remains the first and only event of this nature to be held in North America. The 2200 km course that faces competitors each September provides the perfect opportunity to push automotive limits and drive your heart out. Though the course winds through beautiful open roads, past the glittering Atlantic Ocean and through beautiful countryside, competitors usually do not have a moment to stop and take it all in. Cars are raced at incredible speeds during this world-class event and the majority of roads used for the race are closed to the general public during the event for safety reasons. If you would like to enter the world of Targa Racing, Targa Newfoundland would be the perfect place to start.
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
The Corona Rally México in it’s edition Rally of Nations 2009 got off to a colorful start in the city of Guanajuato, to the sound of mariachis, and folk music that set many a foot tapping, together with many other expressions of Mexican culture. Guanajuato, a World Heritage town, threw quite a bash to welcome the 45 crews who will be fighting for first place tomorrow, when the race is on.
The main ceremonial start for this edition took place in front of both the Juárez Theatre and the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, where more than 30,000 people gathered to give rally participants a typically warm Mexican welcome, and to wish them good luck in the race.
The icing on the cake was an appearance by 2003 WRC champion, the Norwegian Petter Solberg, who rode in on a motorcycle to surprise the crowd, getting the Mexican feeling.
The first crew to get on the podium to receive the applause of the audience was that made up of one of the legends in world rally events, the Frenchman Didier Auriol, together with Denis Giraudet, who has been his co-driver during a great part of his history in the sport.
They were the first major names to drive onto the podium in front of the Juarez Theatre, followed by international figures such as the Finns, Harri Rovanperä and Toni Gardemeister; the Spaniards Dani Sola and Xavi Pons; the Swede Per-Gunar Andersson; the Austrian Manfred Stohl and his female co-driver Ilka Minor, as well as promising newcomer, Andreas Aigner. The Mexican teams were well represented by the current champion in Production Car group, Rodrigo Ordoñez, as well as Ricardo Triviño a driver who has competed in several world championships.
Norwegian driver, Petter Solberg, has confirmed his presence in Guanajuato, at the Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations edition. The 2003 world champion and current WRC driver will be arriving in Mexico City next Wednesday, later heading for León, Guanajuato, where he’ll be providing an alternative attraction and mixing with the other drivers and fans, his being unable to compete against the other major figures that will be there due to his packed schedule.
His arrival in the city of León is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, July 9th, and he will be attending the Shakedown, where he will probably spend at least some time behind the wheel, though not for the same reason as the competitors, but simply to offer the special guests the experience of riding shotgun with a former world champion, something that would not have happened had he been in competition.
After the Shakedown, he will be at the Poliforum, where he will be signing autographs for the public in general. The Mexican audience still recalls his 2005 victory at this very same venue, where, following his win, he celebrated, Mexican-style, in a traditional charro hat.
We can also confirm that the Norwegian driver will be present at the Start Ceremony, but this time aboard the “0” car. So, given his charisma and the special empathy he has with the Mexican fans, it’ll be quite a show. This time the start line will be in front of the Juarez Theater, with a second show in front of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas.
During the competition, there will also be driving experiences during the Scotiabank Super Special Stage, autograph signings and interviews with the media.
“I’m very excited about going back to Mexico; its rally is very well organized and the legs are really good.” The people are among the best. I remember very well all their support when I won in 2005. It was fantastic and something that I will never forget”, declared Solberg.
With this confirmation, Petter Solberg joins the contingent of world personalities at the Corona Rally Mexico, and, although he won’t be competing, he has praised the organization of this event.