Rd.2 Corona Rally Mexico

Production Car World Rally Championship
 
9 to 11 March 2007

LEG THREE

Five SUBARUs take home points after gruelling event

11 March 2007
Copyright © STI 
The final day of this year's Corona Rally Mexico saw drivers taking much more care over the rough and pitted terrain of the stages than on the previous two days of the event.

With so much at stake, the lack of drama on the final day was somewhat understandable, competitors preferring to consolidate their positions rather than push and risk going off so close to the finish.

Among the SUBARU entrants, it was Toshi Arai who held the mantle for the Japanese manufacturer, clawing at the gap to eventual winner Mark Higgins right to the end of the event. His finishing position earned eight championship points, putting him 2nd in the overall standings in P-WRC after two events. Added to his tally of three in Sweden, Arai now has a total of 11 points.

Behind the Japanese ace, Finland's Kristian Sohlberg took third place, equaling his result on the season-opener in Sweden four weeks ago. He now leads the points' battle in P-WRC with a total of 12.

Mirco Baldacci came home fourth after a titanic battle throughout the three-day event, much of which was spent battling for the lead on the first two days. The San Marino native sits on 5 points. Current RANC (Rally America National Championship) title-holder Travis Pastrana made his P-WRC debut here this weekend, and acquitted himself remarkably well, earning four championship points with fifth place overall. Also in the points was Spyros Pavlides, taking his first-ever world championship point with eighth in P-WRC. The two other SUBARU-equipped finishers were Loris Baldacci in ninth, and Alexander Dorosinskiy who took tenth.


Copyright © STI 

George Donaldson

STI Group N Project General Manager:
"Today has brought some surprises, the main one being was that there was no drama. Given the fact that the stages had already been run twice, and in one case even three times, it's surprising that there wasn't more damage than what we saw. It was fabulous to see so many SUBARUs come home reliably. It's been a dramatic event for many, very much driven by both pace and steering clear of trouble. Toshi was our driver who had the least problems, just one puncture that cost him 40 seconds. It was a great drive from him, not putting a foot wrong, and measuring the pace all weekend. His car looks brand new at the end of the rally.

"Likewise, despite the more dramatic puncture and brake loss, Kristian Sohlberg has driven an absolutely fabulous rally, very much in the fight for the lead over the first day and a half until his puncture put him back. Since then, he's not put a foot wrong, has driven the pace pretty hard, pressuring those around him. Other cars have failed technically, and he's brought himself home in third.

"Travis Pastrana had a very, very dramatic first day, but he's shown fantastic survivability. This is without doubt one of the tougher rallies we do, and he's kept the whole thing together. Already, he's started on his strategy of self-improvement, and is looking to get up there amongst the top runners. He's got a three-year programme, starting with half a season this year, and then two more years. What a great start for him, and what a great start for the team. He's just delighted with the experience this weekend.

Copyright © STI 
"Mirco Baldacci was absolutely at the vanguard of the fight in this rally, leading on occasion before a puncture robbed him of his chance to win - and denied us all a great fight for the last day of this year's Rally Mexico. He's taken the whole thing in stride, though obviously is very disappointed not to have garnered the win. He had one problem, a puncture, which went very badly when the car fell off the jack - costing him four minutes. As well as losing the chance to fight for the top spot, he also fell below 2nd and 3rd, though kept his head together, driving faultlessly to the end. His car has a few more battle scars than some of the others, as belies the intensity of the fight he was having for the lead over the first two days of the event. This result is a great introduction of Mirco to us, and of the SUBARU to him. He's really enjoyed driving the car, and we're heartened that he's going to have a brilliant year.

"Spyros had a bit of a shaky start to the rally as we can remember, but he's tootled through to the finish. He lost confidence on the first day, then got it back together - and he's bagged himself a point as a result. Loris Baldacci had an incredible first morning, and then didn't seem to be able to capitalize on that unfortunately. I think we're going to see some interesting developments from Loris; he's got a flavour for this, and really enjoyed himself here. I sincerely hope the guy builds on that great performance he showed early on in this rally. Alex Dorosinskiy, despite his problems on day one, has come back and given himself a pace to set. When he's pushing, he reckons he's a second a kilometer behind the lead drivers. He plans on rectifying that."

The next round of the 2007 P-WRC takes place over the first weekend of May when the teams and drivers visit South America for one of the most well-attended events on the calendar, Rally Argentina.



Pos Driver Car Name Time   Diff  
1 Mark HIGGINS Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:08:44.5 -
2 Toshihiro ARAI SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI 4:10:05.4 +1:20.9
3 Kristian SOHLBERG SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI 4:11:15.2 +2:30.7
4 Mirco BALDACCI SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI 4:12:51.9 +4:07.4
5 Travis PASTRANA SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI 4:16:53.2 +8:08.7
6 Stepan VOJTECH Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:25:43.3 +16:58.8
7 Fumio NUTAHARA Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4:26:02.5 +17:18.0
8 Spyros PAVLIDES SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI 4:34:23.7 +25:39.2