It’s been some weeks since the last rally. In Sweden Toyota and Jari-Matti Latvala were triumphant but this time the bandwagon is in Mexico. The teams and driver will be greeted by tough gravel roads an unforgiving terrain.
Another tough rally conditionwise
Mexico will host a number of long stages which paired with the heat and altitude can be a challenge for the engine. Therefore drivers must keep their rhythm and focus on what they’re doing. The loose gravel and dust on the roads will no doubt result in spectacular views, but in technical difficulties as well. The standings could be shaken on each stage into a whole new order. This means that no stage is an off-stage or a stage the drivers can chill on. They must be in top form throughout the rally or they’ll face a disappointing scoreboard at the end.
Toyota excited but cautious moving forward
When the season started back in January, no-one expected Toyota was going to win the second rally after their return. This was the case however and now the Japanese team is a genuine contender for both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships. Now with Rally Mexico knocking, Toyota’s team boss Tommi Mäkinen and Jari-Matti Latvala are taking the hype a notch down. Latvala himself has stated that even though he won Rally Mexico last year with Volkswagen, a finish in the top five is all he’s asking for this year. He says it would be a good result to build on.
Tommi Mäkinen remarks that although they exceeded every expectation by winning in Sweden, the team must keep their feet on the ground. He also adds that as professionals everyone is capable of doing that. According to Mäkinen there are two question marks in Mexico, the altitude and the heat. While Toyota tested their car in Spain in 40 degree heat, their engineers are working furiously to prevent any break downs.
Championship standings ahead of Rally Mexico
- Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota – 48 points
- Sebastien Ogier, M-Sport – 44 points
- Ott Tänak, M-Sport – 33 points
- Dani Sordo, Hyundai – 25 points
- Craig Breen, Citroen – 20 points
- M-Sport World Rally Team – 73 points
- Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT – 53 points
- Hyundai Motorsport – 40 points
- Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT – 26 points