A Road Rally

7 Mar
Rally Guanajuato Corona Round 3 of the FIA World Rally Championship

Rally Guanajuato Corona Round 3 of the FIA World Rally Championship

We came upon Rally Guanajuato Corona at the bottom of our callejon next to the Alhondiga museum. It turns out that Guanajuato Mexico is the starting point for Round 3 of the FIA International World Rally Championships. This year’s marathon race has run in Sweden, Wales and Monte Carlo and now in Mexico with more world sites on the future racing schedule.

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This is a competitive road race over back country roads of gravel and dirt. The cars include specialized Volkswagen, Hyundai, Citroen, Ford Fiesta and other brands racing with i20 WRC’s engines in the WRC2 category. Special modifications make the engines more responsive at altitude for the mountains surrounding Guanajuato at 7000+ feet.

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Preparations began early Friday morning. Rows of bleachers were set up next to the Alhondiga museum with the police out in full force for street closings and crowd control. Though the actual race started at 7 p.m., we saw the first preparations early in the morning and the crowd gathering later, at 3 p.m. The music, an unrecognizable blast of generic heavy metal, was shattering from huge speakers set up in the plaza.

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Dana returned at 7 p.m. to see the cars and drivers start the race.

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Drivers come from all over the world, France, Finland, Estonia, Spain, Great Britain, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Poland and Mexico.

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The opening ceremonies included a prerace warm-up roaring through the cobbled streets and tunnels of Guanajuato, followed by a second stage of racing 4.6km on country roads in the dark.

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The race is dangerous for the drivers. Cars can easily crash on the rough back roads of the race. Every driver wears a fire-proof balaclava to protect their head. Their helmets clip into braces strapped to their backs for additional neck support. And finally, the car itself has a reinforced infrastructure to keep drivers and navigators from being crushed.

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The prerace excitement has cars driving into the courtyard of the Alhondiga on a series of ramps to an elevated, revolving display of the car and driver.

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Finally the engines’ roar rose to gut level as the cars quickly accelerate up, around and down through the tunnels out to the country surrounding Guanajuato.

051Sonic cannons added to the excitement of the screaming engines as thousands of small pieces of colored paper blew from pressure cannons into the air. For a car lover like Dana, this race was a memorable event.

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One Response to “A Road Rally”

  1. Ursula March 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Overload of testosterone!

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