Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team will take on new challenges with its GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid contender when Rally México makes a much-anticipated return for round three of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship season, from today until Sunday.
This will be the championship’s first visit to Mexico and to the American continent since 2020. As well as being the first gravel round of the season, with ambient temperatures as high as 30°C providing a stark contrast to the winter conditions of Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Sweden, the event is set to provide a major new test for the latest generation of Rally1 cars that were introduced last year.
M-Sport factory driver Adrien Fourmaux stamped his mark on the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship last Saturday, by taking victory at the opening round of the 2023 season, The Malcolm Wilson Rally.
In difficult conditions, Fourmaux and co-driver Alex Coria (above right and left) took their Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 to a convincing victory in the snow-laden Cumbrian stages, finishing 53 seconds ahead of last-years BRC runners up Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin. Elliot Payne and Tom Woodburn delivered an impressive drive in their Fiesta Rally2, recording their debut BRC podium in third.
Based at the home of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in Cockermouth, the Malcolm Wilson Rally was set to take a new generation of top-flight BRC1 contenders into classic stages in the Lake District forests and kick start the new season with the ultimate gravel test.
But mother nature delivered a cruel blow in the 48 hours ahead of the event, with heavy snow severely impacting access to the stages, leaving the organisers no choice but to significantly alter the itinerary just hours ahead of the rally start as the planned eight stages became five.