THE EVENT LAST RAN A SIMILAR FORMAT – WHERE NATIONS COMPETE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER – BACK IN 2009
The Rally México organizer has demonstrated its commitment to a 2023 World Rally Championship return by launching the Nations Rally Guanajuato.
The León-based event will run to the same format as the 2009 Rally of Nations, when the popular North American event missed its WRC round due to the FIA’s policy of rotating rallies.
This year’s Nations Rally Guanajuato runs from April 1-3 and utilizes the same service park and stages as the WRC-qualifying Rally México. Forced off the calendar by COVID in 2021, México was expected to return this season, only to miss out again following fears the pandemic might impact on logistics into México so early in the season.
With Argentina and Chile also off the roster, there will be no WRC action in the Americas for the first time since 1995.
Rally director Patrick Suberville said: “We are not on this year’s WRC calendar and that’s a source of great sadness for the people of México, but it’s a source of inspiration for us. We want to be back in the WRC and we will do everything we possibly can to make sure we are back where we belong.
“Down the last two decades, the world has marveled at how Rally México has grown and blossomed into one of the world’s finest motorsport spectacles.
“The spectacle of rallying in this part of México is really something special – it’s what has made it the most popular round of the world championship on occasion. Few rallies in the world have such a distinctive, unique feeling like we do – from the underground stages of Guanajuato City to the tell-tale cacti lining the 2737-meter road across the top of the El Chocolate stage. This place is forever México.
“Of course, the other reason we run Nations Rally Guanajuato is to remind the FIA and WRC Promoter that we are still here and we still see our future very firmly in the World Rally Championship from next season forwards.
“We remain in constant contact with both the promoter and the governing body, but we also understand that we have to keep our organizing team sharp and our standards high. That’s what we will do with Nations Rally Guanajuato – we see this as a way to bridge the gap back into the WRC calendar. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but for us, the WRC isn’t quite the same without México.”
Nations Rally Guanajuato will bring together countries from across the world to compete against each other.
Rally manager Gilles Spitalier said: “It’s an Olympic year right now and everybody understands what it means to compete beneath your national flag. That’s the format we used in 2009 and it’s the format we’re using this time around.
“We have some incredible names coming for this event, but they all know they will be part of a team fighting for national pride. In 2009, Xevi Pons and Dani Sola combined to win the event for Spain. National teams will be coming from around the world to try to defeat the reigning champions.”