With their eyes on Corona Rally Mexico, to take place from July 9th to 12th on the outskirts of Guanajuato, Spain has stepped up to the plate by sending a first-rate racing team. International drivers Xavi Pons and Dani Sola will proudly bear the Spanish flag on their cars, their having teamed up for the Rally of Nations.
This decision makes Spain one of the favorite countries to win in Mexico, given the quality of both drivers, who have participated in previous editions of the Corona Rally Mexico, Dani Sola actually winning the 2004 WRC in the production cars category.
With victories in Germany and Corsica in the production category, a dirt rally championship in Spain in 2008 and the experience of having been an official WRC driver for Subaru, Citroën and OMV, Xavi Pons, like his fellow countryman, will be a name to watch out for in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
“I’m thrilled to represent Spain alongside Dani Sola. I have done the Mexican circuit three times and it is, without a doubt, one of my favorites among those I’ve experienced. I am in good shape and I hope to do well. I would like to congratulate the organizers on this project; the Rally of Nations is a great idea,” said Pons.
Dani Sola already has one world championship behind him in the WRC Junior category, as well as the asphalt rally of 2006 and the dirt rally of 2007 in Spain, and has experience as an official driver of the Mitsubishi team in 2004 and Ford BP in 2005, credentials which will make the Catalan a tough act to beat during the Corona Rally Mexico. Dani enjoys great appeal among Mexican motor racing enthusiasts and has friends there that will certainly be out rooting for him every day.
“It is great to go back to Mexico, for me it’s one of the best rally events in the world. The fans are wonderful and the organization is perfect. Having a Rally of Nations is a great idea and I’m convinced that it will be a success. Once again, Mexico will be one of the major players in world motorsport,” commented the Spanish driver by phone.
The level of competition in the Rally of Nations will surely become more and more interesting over the next few days as other teams are announced, including Corona Team Finland and other powerful duos.
Don’t miss this thrilling leg of the F1 GP Championship.
Date: August 23, 2009
Venue: Valencia Street Circuit
Fernando Alonso is a renowned Formula One driver and won the World Championship twice. He is best known for winning the World Driver’s Championship title in 2005 at the age of 24, making him the youngest Formula One champion. This victory also halted Schumacher’s 5 consecutive championship successes.
Fernando Alonso Diaz was born on 29 July 1981 in Oviedo of Spain. His father, Jose Luis, competed as an amateur kart driver and even constructed a pedal kart to look like a Formula One car. Right from a young age Fernando showed a keen interest in racing and his parents described him as having a competitive spirit. As a kart racer, Fernando Alonso met with much success, winning several championships and titles in Spain. This drew the attention of sponsors who provided the family with needed funds to promote Fernando’s racing career.
It was in 1999 that Fernando Alonso moved from karting to open-wheel cars. He took part in the Spanish Euro Open MoviStar and at the age of 18 he became champion of the series. In 2000 Alonso began racing in Formula 3000. Once again he met with victory and thus began Alonso’s Formula One career.
Alonso made his F1 debut in 2001 at the Australian Grand Prix, driving for Minardi. Unfortunately he battled to score his championship point as his car was not quite fit to compete against technically superior vehicles. However, Fernando Alonso’s racing skills were strongly evident. The year 2002 saw Alonso becoming a test driver for Renault in 2002 and later a regular driver in 2006. During the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2003 he earned the title of youngest driver to gain a F1 pole position. By the end of the 2004 season Alonso gained greater standings and points. Alonso’s 2005 was marked by consistency in racing and 7 victories. 2006 was the year Alonso challenged Michael Schumacher. The entire season was tense, filled with wins and losses. In the end it was Fernando Alonso who took the world championship in 2006.
In 2007 Fernando Alonso began racing for McLaren. Following a scandal in that year, McLaren and Alonso mutually agreed to the cancellation of his contract. In December 2007 he signed a contract with Renault F1 to drive beside Nelson Piquet, Jr. Toward the end of 2009, Alonso decided to sign a three season contract, from 2010 to 2012, with Ferrari.
The Circuit de Catalunya is located in Barcelona, Spain. This impressive F1 track is amongst the most modern and is host to a number of renowned motor racing events. If you have the good fortune to attend a race at the Circuit de Catalunya F1 race track you will find that the 15 grandstands provide spectators with an awesome view of the action. This, together with other superb visitor facilities, ensure an enjoyable day of excitement.
Construction began on the Circuit de Catalunya in February 1989 through funding from the Montmelo Town Council, Catalan Government and Reial Automobil Club de Catalunya. The completed circuit was officially opened on 10 September 1991 with the first race being won by Luis Perez Sala. The circuit itself offers 3 different routes, namely the School track of 1.703 m, the National track of 3.067 m and Grand Prix track of 4.727 m. The Spanish Grand Prix held at Circuit de Catalunya covers a complete distance of 307.323 km with 65 laps. Currently the lap record for the F1 track is held by Michael Schumacher who made it in 1 min 17.481 seconds behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Circuit de Catalunya is also host to other competitive racing events, including those for motorcycles and 24 Hours Endurance. Located at the circuit is the Formula Renault RACC School.
Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona offers a marvelous Formula One race day adventure. Some 23 giant TV screens provide excellent views of the racing from all angles and are easily seen from around the track. During racing season ticket holders may be permitted to tours of the pit garages. Extensive public transport is provided for easy access to the F1 circuit. Disabled individuals are well catered for with special areas reserved for them. A special campsite is set up during the Grand Prix and is serviced with toilets and showers. A fine restaurant at the track has space for 200 people and there are also 8 bars. Formula One viewing is certainly a treat at Circuit de Catalunya. Not only are the facilities comfortable and convenient but the Spanish Grand Prix is always filled with excitement and thrills.
With the European Grand Prix starting at a new venue on Sunday, it was hard to predict who’d race the circuit the best and come out on top. The new circuit took the cars around the harbor streets of Valencia, Spain, providing a scenic backdrop to an exciting race. In the end it was Felipe Massa who took the checkered flag.
Massa didn’t just win the race – he dominated it. Starting from pole position, the Brazilian claimed the fastest lap time and also the victory before the day was done. The win has also pushed Massa up in his bid for the FIA F1 World Driving Championship, since he has now overtaken teammate Kimi Raikkonen and shifted from third to second in the rankings. Despite the fact that Massa was in the lead for the vast majority of the race, his position was not uncontested. Lewis Hamilton wasn’t going to give up without a fight and he chased Massa throughout the race, finishing hot on his tail almost six seconds behind. As if that wasn’t enough to threaten his position at the head of the pack, race stewards considered a Ferrari pit-lane infraction once the race was over; Massa’s pit team released him almost straight into Sutil on the second stop. There was a period of time where fans and crew members sat with bated breath, wondering if Massa would be stripped of his victory. In the end a fine of 10 000 euro was imposed on Massa which he took with a grin, remarking that the fine would ultimately give him an advantage over Sutil since it meant that he had to always let Massa pass him. After all that, Massa was finally able to claim the winner’s trophy.
Driving for BMW Sauber, Robert Kubica managed to finish third, having to first recover from a collision into Hamilton on the first corner. He was followed over the finish line by Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) and Jarno Trulli (Toyta). Kimi Raikkonen must have been very disappointed with his run as he was unable to complete the race when his Ferrari F2008 blew its engine just eleven laps from the finish line. He was kept in good company by Fernando Alonso, whose Renault suffered major damage after being smashed into by Kazuki Nakajima near the beginning of the race, and Adrian Sutil who overshot a corner and ended up in the tires.