Welcome to Rally Flashback, where we look back to a previous version of this weekends round of the WRC. It's entertaining, useful to get to know the rally and might help you pick your Fantasy WRC roster. Mexico is one of the newest rounds of the WRC, but has fast grown to be one of the most exciting. This time we're looking back to the first edition in 2004.
And the situation was very similar to this year. A French guy called Sebastien has won Monte-Carlo and Sweden, but good drivers representing three other manufacturers are ready to challenge for a win in Mexico. The teammate of the Sebastien is also very much looking for a win on the high altitude gravel roads.
Though, in 2004 we had Sebastien Loeb, Marcus Grönholm, Petter Solberg, Markko Märtin and Carlos Sainz instead of Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala, Mads Østberg, Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo. Petter Solberg was the reigning World Champion, but had to try to kickstart his season with a win in Mexico. Looking to win his first championship after finishing second in 2003, Sebastien Loeb had to improve on gravel. Mexico would be the first out of many tests he would encounter that year. The new Peugeot 307 WRC was suffering from a lot of problems, but could be very fast in the hands of Marcus Grönholm.
Ford had the duo of Markko Märtin and Francois Duval, possibly two of the most talented drivers in 2004. Pretty much the same situation as in 2015? What we don't have now is the experienced veteran factory driver like Carlos Sainz was. "El Matador" were into his last year in the WRC, and was helping with the development of the already very good Citroën Xsara WRC. Interesting how Sainz was involved in the development of the current VW Polo R, as well.
Other drivers in this rally was Harri Rovanperä, Gilles Panizzi, Gigi Galli and Mikko Hirvonen. No top cathegory drivers return for the 2015 edition of the rally. I'm not going to spoil this if you don't know the results of the 2004 Rally Mexico, so I suggest you find out for yourself by watching the highlight video. Enjoy!