Route Preview: Rally Mexico 2023

Rally Mexico’s technical but smooth roads covered in loose gravel return to WRC after sitting out two seasons. The route is once again mostly unchanged, but there’s some interesting updates in the super specials, as well as some new sections that were left undriven in 2020 when COVID-19 cut the event one day short. The new Rally1 hybrid cars will face the high altitudes for the first time. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the tough conditions or how much will the performance increase from the support of the electric boost which doesn’t suffer in lower oxygen levels.

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Route Preview: Rally Sweden 2023

Last year Rally Sweden relocated to Umeå to ensure more snowy conditions than in the thaw-stricken Värmland. Snow was present indeed, but the stages had a different character, alternating now between very fast and very narrow sections, involving long straights and occasional tight corners similarly to Arctic Rally of Finland. Last year’s stages were new for everyone but this year as much as 62% of the route is new. Like last year, problems with reindeers have made its changes on the itinerary.

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Route Preview: Rally Monte Carlo 2023

Last year Rally Monte Carlo relocated to Monaco instead of having the service and most of the stages around Gap. This resulted in lots of new roads compared to the previous years and slight character change among that. However, this year most of the route is familiar from last year as well as partially from the past previous few years, at most with just some slight changes.

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2023 WRC Calendar Thoughts

The 2023 WRC calendar was finally published in late November, already after the 2022 season had ended. There’s only a few changes and we could say it’s now back to usual after a couple of exceptional years. And once again the calendar is 13 events long instead of 14.

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Route Preview: Rally Japan 2022

Rally Japan has featured on WRC before but in a different location and surface. The gravel stages of Hokkaido have been exchanged for tarmac roads of Honshu. The stages alternate between narrow and sinuous forest roads and wide racing circuit like main roads but in overall they are very sinuous and slow. There’s resemblance to Sanremo, Catalunya, Deutschland and Croatia. It seems there’s very few places to cut corners, resulting likely in less polluted road. Some of the roads also remind me of 80/90’s video games, possibly because they were Japanese! In any case it seems like a very interesting rally with an unique character!

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