To add to the fantastic quality and spectacle that is guaranteed by all the drivers who have confirmed their participation in the Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations edition, the Organizing Committee has introduced speed stages that will surely be a great attraction for the audience, and which include the Super Special Scotiabank Stage in the competition’s itinerary, to take place at León’s race circuit, the Autódromo, as it has done during previous editions of WRC. In addition, a road race stage, the Coca-Cola Street Stage, is to take place for the first time in the city of León.
Once again, León’s race circuit will be the setting for a display of rallying at its highest level, where this coming July 10th, 11th and 12th, the venue will host speed stages involving head-to-head races, in which two cars will start out at the same time, competing to their maximum capacities against each other and against the clock, given that this stage is an integral part of the rally.
Under the name “Super Special Scotiabank Stage”, this phase of the rally will be played out over a 2.21 km route. On Friday 10 and Saturday 11, this route will run twice, starting at 3:00 p.m. on both days. On Sunday, July 12th, there will be only one run, starting at 10:00 a.m., so the Organizing Committee suggests the audience should arrive early because of the various side events that will be taking place.
Entrance to the race circuit costs 80 pesos in the general area, 150 pesos in the stands overlooking the straight, and 300 pesos in the marquee area. Tickets can be bought on the day at the ticket offices or beforehand via the web site, at www.rallydelasnaciones.com, where you can buy and print an e-ticket, which will be good for access, without any need to change it for a pre-printed ticket.
As for the Coca-Cola Street Stage, this will, without a doubt, be quite a novelty, since it is the first time that the Organizing Committee has tried such a thing. The stage consists of a 1.87-km route along the street that divides the Explora Park and Poliforum facilities and the Nou Camp Soccer Stadium.
In this stage, cars will set off one by one, in a race against the clock to be held on Friday, July 10th and Saturday 11th only. On Friday, things will start at around 10:30 a.m., and on Saturday, under the name “Powerade Street Stage”, at approximately 10:50 a.m. It is important to mention that this event will be free of charge.
Safety measures will be very strict and there will be public areas available, though with limited capacity, as well as special areas to accommodate authorized photographers, cameramen and journalists.
Though the Renault F1 team is based in Enstone, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, the vehicle manufacturer hails from Boulogne-Billancourt France. Renault has long been involved in the production of cars, vans, buses, tractors and trucks and they are a popular vehicle manufacturer on a worldwide scale. The company also has a reputation for coming up with several revolutionary designs which have influenced the development of cars in general, as well as having excellent security technology and enjoying great success in the field of motor racing. In the United States Renault is commonly mispronounced and spelled as “Renalt”. However, after extensive marketing efforts, the original French spelling of the word has made a massive comeback in that country.
Renault has long been involved in motorsport in general as most manufacturers recognise the immense value of this avenue of sport as an effective marketing tool. However, they only started to become more dedicated to motorsport in general in the late 70s and early 80s when they made the decision to establish a dedicated motorsport division. This division was called Renault Sport and it has enjoyed immense success both in Rally Racing and Formula One. It is interesting to note that their initial 1977 entry into the world of Formula One was seen by many in the racing fraternity to be a big joke. This was mainly due to the fact that Renault’s designs were somewhat unconventional and featured such curiosities as a turbocharger. However, they soon won respect by achieving notable finishes and finally, after just two years, the Renault F1 Team won their first race. Despite early ridicule every one of the front-running Formula One teams were making use of turbochargers by the early 80s.
Renaults true Formula One Success came when the manufacturer made the decision to take over the Benetton F1 team in 2001. With top F1 driver Fernando Alonso behind the wheel initially, Renault soon enjoyed massive success. In 2005 Renault won both the Constructors and Drivers titles. Recently there has been some curiosity regarding the appointment of Carlos Ghosn as Renault’s CEO since there was a general consensus that he would not be very committed to the Formula One Team. However, Ghosn laid fears to rest in 2006 after announcing that the team would continue to participate in Formula One until at least 2012. This means that fans will continue to enjoy the innovative design and engineering that have become Renault trademarks.
Off road vehicles and the sport of ‘off roading’ have a large and enthusiastic following across the country and, in fact, around the world. It’s a variation on the old ‘my car’s faster than yours!’ jibe, only in this case it’s ‘my car can go where your car can’t!’ Combine this competitiveness with the typical American love of the outdoors and our country’s astounding natural beauty and you have the sport – and accompanying lifestyle – of off-roading.
True off road vehicles are much more than mere SUVs. These beasts have to survive anything the wilderness can throw at them. Boulders, rivers, mud, sand or snow – a good off road vehicle will eat ’em all for breakfast and keep on rolling over hill and dale. When official competition between off road vehicles takes place, it’s usually either Rally Racing, Desert Racing or the relatively new sport of Rockcrawling. The latter is a sight to see, as spindly vehicles, with some slight resemblance to Jeeps, crawl over incredibly rough courses made up of huge boulders and wind-carved rock formations with the agility of overgrown spiders!
Now, your standard off-the-rack SUV or Hummer isn’t any slouch when it comes to mild off-roading, even though precious few sold in urban areas really get tossed about in conditions displayed in their television commercials. Off-roading is as much about image as it is about exploring the wild, less-travelled terrain where pavements are non-existent. When you’re an off-roader, it’s all good!
The United States held its first Rally Championship in 1973, and the Olympus International Rally was a part of this historical moment. Sponsored by Toyota, it later became an important stage during the World Rally Championships from 1985 to 1988 and was again included in the United States Rally Championship in 2006. From 2007 it was added to the Rally America National Championship and it has many legendary rally drivers associated with it.
One of America’s well known rally racing champions, John Buffum, has raced at the Olympus International Rally many times, taking home four wins. Another driver who also has four Olympus wins to his name is the New Zealand Rally Champion, Rod Millen and in 1985, Hannu Mikkola won the World Rally Prototype here. Other famous rally drivers include Juha Kankkunen, Miki Biasion, John Nagel, Markku Alen, Alex Fiorio, Ilkka Kivimaki and Arne Hertz.
This year the Olympus International Rally will form part of the Rally America National Championship, and takes place between the 18th of April 2008 and the 20th of April 2008. Here, drivers will be putting their navigational and driving skills to the ultimate test, as racing at Olympus is known to be a challenging event. The rugged rally terrain of this course in the Washington State will not only see drivers battle against each other but they will be tested on every turn by unpredictable weather conditions and the vast variety of road surfaces they will have to face.
It is a course that provides excitement and thrilling racing for the participants and the spectators, as every bump or turn in the road can have an overwhelming effect on the race. The Olympus International Rally is a serious race for teams, as it is a fight for points and a place at the X Games 13. Spectators will be able to see eleven great vehicle manufactures represented at the rally, including Ford, Subaru, Volkswagen, Dodge and Mitsubishi.
For rally racing at its best, and to catch a glimpse of favorite teams and drivers, supporters and racing enthusiasts should ensure that they don’t miss out on the action and exhilaration of this rough rally spectacular. The Olympus International Rally is an event worth supporting.
The Monte Carlo Rally has been called the Granddaddy of Motor Rallying, and for good reason: it was one of, if not THE, first motor rally. First run in 1911, the Monte Carlo Rally was for a time the only motor sports race of its kind but through its enduring popularity has spawned the sport of motor rallying that spans the globe today.
The relationship was formalized in 1973 when the Monte Carlo Rally was made the inaugural race of the FIA World Rally Championship season. The original reason for the race was not strictly for competition, but for testing the cars of the day under a wide variety of road conditions.
The legendary Monte Carlo Rally circuit provides drivers with one challenge after another as their reflexes are continually being tested. Run in January to take advantage of the weather, some portions of the course are especially icy. Uniquely among professional racing, spectators are allowed to throw snow onto the course, leading on more than one occasion to drivers spinning out and damaging their vehicles.
Through the first 30 years of the rally, cars that even in their day were relatively unknown won races. Makes like Berliet, Metallurgique, and Autocarrier competed with enduring racing names like Lancia, Citroen and Bugatti. Strange as it may seem, Studebaker and Buick each finished third in the 1930 and 1938 races respectively. Even into the 1960s, cars such as the Ford Falcon and the Citroen ID were very competitive.
The Saab 96 won the 1962 and 1963 editions of the Monte Carlo Rally, while the Mini Cooper S (similar to the tiny boxy cars featured in the 1969 film “The Italian Job”) won in 1964, 1965 and 1967.
These days, cars claiming the checkered flag include the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, Subaru Impreza, Citroën Xsara and the 2006 winner, the Ford Focus RS WRC driven by the team of Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen.