FERM World Rally Team Rises To Great Heights In Mexico
This week the FERM World Rally Team will change from minus 28 degrees Celsius in Sweden to the heat of 28 degrees in Mexico, the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Near the city of Leon, Dennis Kuipers and Frederic Miclotte start an interesting new adventure. The majority of the 22 special stages will be on treacherously slippery gravel roads in the mountains. During the stages in the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato heights of 2700 meters will be reached.
Driving at high altitude also affects the Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the thin air could reduce the power of the car up to twenty percent.
Kuipers, who starts the WRC event on a high after bagging manufacturer championship points for the FERM Power Tools World Rally Team on its debut at Rally Sweden earlier this month, has never competed on the Leon-based event before.
The 25-year-old from the Netherlands faces the added challenge of learning to drive his Fiesta RS WRC on gravel for the first time this week.
"This is the first time I have driven in Mexico, whereas my competitors have competed here several times," said Kuipers. "So I need to catch up regarding my knowledge of the stages and gravel. On the other hand, I debuted last year on Rally of Turkey and I finished ninth.
"I like driving on gravel, here I can feel very well how the car is handling and the car really slides a lot. Furthermore, driving very fast on the dusty roads in Mexico is just a really cool thing to do. We want to get the most out of the rally."
While Kuipers will be a Mexico novice when he tackles the event this week, his Belgian co-driver Frederic Miclotte has competed on the event in the past, finishing ninth overall alongside Estonian Jaan Molder as the second-highest Junior World Rally Championship competitor back in 2008.
"What I particularly remember and love about this rally is the tremendous enthusiasm of the spectators - I signed a lot of autographs then," said 37-year-old Miclotte. "The Mexicans are crazy about rallying and they show this from the bottom of their hearts."
Rally Mexico starts Thursday 3 March and finishes on Sunday March 6 after 22 special stages covering 364 km.