We’ve talked at length here about the underground / tunnel pit exit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix track. At this season’s ending race, there were at least a handful of moments when cars on cold tires were squiggly as they sped through the subterranean turn.
Well check this out:
Rally Guanajuato Mexico, round two of next year’s World Rally Championship, will get underway with a special stage through the streets of Guanajuato City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guanajuato is the event’s established ceremonial start venue but will now play a key role in the competitive element of the rally by hosting the first of 22 special stages.
Measuring just over one kilometre in length, the Guanajuato Street Stage will start at 20:06hrs local time on Thursday March 3. It will run over wall-lined cobbled roads and feature a section through a 90-metre long, floodlit tunnel. Drivers are set to cross the start ramp and then tackle the stage in one-minute intervals.
Autosport’s take on the event makes it sound even more spectacular (I’m not sure why these two write-ups don’t jibe more, at least based on my reading):
Rally Mexico’s start in the colourful city of Guanajuato is one of the events of the season, with tens of thousands of fans turning out to pack the narrow streets.
This time around, there’s going to be even more for the fans to see, with stage one taking place just around the corner.
The two-kilometre stage will run mostly underground through the city’s network of tunnels, providing a spectacular start to the Leon-based event. The only other significant change to the itinerary for the March 3-6 event is running superspecial stages at the Leon Race Circuit after the final service on Friday and Saturday.
Whichever is closer to the truth of the planning — a 90-meter tunnel versus most of the stage being “underground” — it still adds a new element to racing.
Maybe it isn’t too late for the U.S. Grand Prix at Austin to do something similar!
It makes me wonder what “trick” design we will see at a future Russian/Thai/New York grand prix. Any guesses?