Counting down hours before the start of round three of 2015 World Rally Championship, the always entertaining and challenging Rally Mexico. Judging from the results of the shakedown, Sebastien Ogier is in top form, but again, he usually is. Of course, shakedowns really don’t mean much, or even less, but as things stand right now, Ogier is not going to go down without a massive fight, should he decide to push against the odds. Thick layer of slippery dust is his main enemy in Mexico. Well, that and the closed gates, but that’s another story – the one organizers promised will not happen again. It’s safe to put some money on “Ogier will, at some point, complain about the road position”, but let’s see. Huge amount of dust and no wind could lead to other problems for the drivers behind Ogier and other front runners. Perhaps our current champion will not be the only one complaining. Because when hanging dust comes into play, drivers usually get very agitated. I’d prepare enough popcorn to last me entire weekend if I were you, some stage end comments are bound to become instant classics, I’m sure.
If you are WRC+ user, which for this rally I will not be, you have three stages shown live. One of those is the superspecial stage which also serve as the opening test, scheduled to start in approximately one and a half hours from now. Superspecials were made for TV and spectators and while latter get to at least see the cars in person, TV spectators will again see a lot of dark, then some headlights, then darkness again, coupled with random stage end interviews (unless stage is set to start in daylight, which would be a very welcome change). It’ll be over before you know it and that’s one out of three live stages down. Two others are SS 13 (8-ish kms) and the final powerstage which is slightly longer at 12 ks.
I am not disclosing my favourites for this event nor am I going to submit yet another podium predictions – I never keep track of those and usually each new submission is different, depending on who’s asking. I would like to see massive fight between TEAMS not just drivers. Mexico, with its tricky yet smooth terrain and unique altitude and heat, could be challenging enough even for the fastest drivers. Underdogs could shine here, but there is a very long and dusty road ahead of them.