Fly Away Stage Problems: Bad Idea or Bad Luck?

Photo Credit: Michelin
  • JMR

    I agree with almost everything you wrote, but I’d point out that the organizers actually didn’t have to cancel any stages. The cars arrived just as they were due to start morning service. At worst they could have delayed the start by an hour! Instead they overreacted and cancelled the entire morning loop. Cars sat for five hours doing nothing. Fans like you got completely screwed. And like you pointed out, everybody who had to sweep didn’t get to make up their losses on the second pass.

    A LOT of screwups this rally, many of which were predictable, and predicted. But there’s something fundamentally wrong with the attitude of the people running WRC. They can’t learn from their mistakes because all the “journalists” covering the sport are too scared to publicize the mistakes that get made. The promoter sweeps everything under the rug and punishes those who dare to speak out, at least in the English-speaking press.

    • FuchsrohreWRC

      I’m another to agree.
      They never learn, as said Argentina was a ‘balls up’ and this was similar.

      And yes, there is a fundamental problem with the people running the WRC; they want to take the sport to larger geographical areas – which is fine, and is what the sport should be about. However, they don’t want to do it properly; i;e by making it part of the route, like we used to see years ago. The idea of transporting cars/ drivers is laughable..

      And as for the journalism – well were do you start? Let’s say most of it is basically PR pieces.

  • Dar

    Well, having been down there for the rally myself (along with my wife, two kids, and four other friends/family members), it was a HUGE letdown. The first running of El Chocolate was going to be the only gravel stage we saw on Friday as we wanted to ensure we got to the Guanajuato street stage early enough to get a good spot (we did, what with all of the additional time). Logistically, I didn’t think it would be possible to see the second running of El Chocolate or Las Minas and still make it back to get a good view for the Guanajuato stage.

    As for delaying the start, I think that has a cascading effect that would be hard to manage. Spectators and venues were expecting specific times and pushing that an hour out would have been difficult to communicate to all involved (not the teams obviously).

    My wife was reading some of the facebook posts on Friday evening and there were a LOT of pissed off comments, obviously. Some of them were from people from the state of Guanajuato feeling like the WRC was/is trying to move the rally further south, closer to the population center in and around Mexico City. I hope that’s not the case because Guanajuato, both the city and state, are beautiful and deserving of all this rally has to offer. I’m about 90% sure we’ll be going back next year and I hope the FIA and WRC either eliminate the Mexico City stages or allow for additional time (days?) between those stages and the start of the actual (meaningful) stages.

    • Jason Anthony

      We were in the exact same position. We had planned to go to the first pass through El Chocolate and then head back to Guanajuato for the street stage in the evening. We ended up changing plans and went out to El Chocolate for the afternoon and you were right. We had no chance of catching the street stage. We arrived in town just behind one of the last cars on the transit from Las Minas. I’m sorry we never got a chance to connect down there… internet was pretty spotty and we had no cellphone service.

      • Dar

        Yeah, I figure there were quite a few people in that exact same situation. Extremely frustrating but I’m glad we did what we did in terms of getting to the street stage as it was super fun. It’s too bad we weren’t able to connect though we had the opposite experience as our AT&T coverage extends throughout Mexico (with a quick call to AT&T to add the area…for free!) so we had cellphone service the entire time (which proved extremely helpful on many occasions).

        If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to see your itinerary and get your opinions on the locations from which you spectated. Shoot me an email if you get a chance (whitedar at hotmail dot com).

        • Jason Anthony

          Did you get the email I sent you in Mexico? I’m not sure if I got the address right…

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