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.
The State of Guanajuato is all set to welcome the entire contingent of those who will be participating in the Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations, an event to take place from July 9th to 12th. Each nation’s representatives are taking care of the last-minute details before their arrival in Mexico this coming weekend, among them, Pirelli Team Italy, made up of Stefano Marrini and Mario Isola, under the sponsorship of Pirelli.
Since 1996, 35-year-old driver Marrini has participated in Rally events in Italy and in the World Rally Championship, where he placed eighth overall in the production category in 2006. In 2004, he took part in Corona Rally Mexico, competing in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, so he is somewhat familiar with the event. “I want to congratulate the organizers of Corona Rally Mexico; they are putting together one of the most important rally events of 2009. The idea of bringing together major names from around the world in the same cars is really interesting. I’m very happy with the service park, which is incredible, especially the crew. I wish them all good luck,” said Marrini.
Meanwhile, the Director of Pirelli Motorsport, Mario Isola, besides sponsoring his team will also be giving himself the opportunity to compete, as he has done on previous occasions. “I’m thrilled to be part of the line-up for this rally, the first for me on gravel and alongside major champions competing for their countries no less. The idea of creating this event is a great one and I want to congratulate the organizers for all the work they are doing,” commented Isola.
Pirelli Team Italy will have two Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX cars at its disposal, and all the cars in the event will be using this same Italian brand of tire, which will be an interesting situation in the Coca Cola Street Stage, which is over a paved stretch of road.
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.