Dani Sordo has a great opportunity in Mexico

In gravel rallies that ‘last will be first’ is an irrefutable fact. The pilots who start behind benefit from the cleaning of the surface carried out by those who start in front, something that can determine victory. And Dani Sordo will have the best starting position in the Rally Mexico, the American event that returns this weekend to the World Cup after being absent since 2020.

Precisely that year the confinement coincided with the Mexican event, and in fact the last stage had to be suspended to make it easier for the riders and teams to return to their homes. Now it returns with the same ingredients as always: beautiful sections located at high altitude (above 2,000 meters) with one of the best atmospheres of the race. It will be the first time that hybrid cars are involved in the specials adjacent to León and Guanajuato, and there is a theory that the extra electrical boost may help offset the loss of power of the combustion engine due to altitude.

“Serum or champagne,” Sordo jokes. “Here we have to go out and win, but let’s not forget that Sebastien Ogier also has a good starting position. The Rally de México is incredible, with very beautiful roads. The fans and spectators have a lot of energy and passion. It is also unique in that the high altitude makes the cars less powerful, making them a bit different. Physically you have to be prepared since the lack of oxygen and heat make it very demanding: it definitely makes you feel more tired. If we do well, we think we can be in the battle for the win, but we want to be on the podium at the very least.”

The one who will pay the ‘toll’ of getting there as the World Cup leader will be Ott Tanak, in a rally in which he ended up plunging his car into a lake in 2015 after going off the road. The Estonian will open the track, and will be the most affected by the starting order: he will find the roads with more dirt and gravel than the rest. Kalle Rovanpera, Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans, his pursuers, will try to take advantage of him to close the gap or overtake him, although, as Sordo said, perhaps Ogier has a privileged starting position in a test that he has won four times… in 2018 just ahead of the Spaniard, who was second and fought for victory from start to finish.

The competition kicks off on Thursday with two spectacular superspecials in Guanajuato, that run through the mining tunnels of the World Heritage city, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, give way to sections through the mountains, which reach heights of up to 2,700 meters above sea level.

Drivers World Cup

1. Ott Tanak, 41 points

2. Kalle Rovanpera, 38

3.Thiery Neuville, 32

4. Elfyn Evans, 29

5. Sebastien Ogier, 26

10. Dani Sordo, 6

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