The beginning of September will mark an important time for the World Endurance Championship and the Mexican racing scene. The 3rd of the month marks the inaugural race that brings the WEC to Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, as the 6 Hours of Mexico leads this year’s WEC season into its second half.
The course spans nearly 3 miles and this year marks the revival of the Mexican race, which hasn’t featured since the World Sports Prototype Championship’s demise in 1991. The race will also see the addition of two professional Mexican drivers who will be specifically entered into the LMP2 category for this race. This means that a bumper grid of 34 of the best endurance teams in the world will be lining up to partake in the first 6 hour race on Mexican soil in 25 years.
With none of the racers having previous racing experience on the Mexican track, the Free Practice sessions will be vital in preparing the teams for their first endurance race around the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. The track itself is notoriously unforgiving. With an elevation of 2,285 metres, the thin air creates difficulties for drivers and their cars. With a new set of twists and turns to master, the 6 hour race looks like it could quickly become the most colourful event of the season.
As the race date approaches, the No.36 Signatech Alpine team of Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre and Stephane Richelmi will be looking to continue their domination of the LMP2 category. After three impressive LMP2 victories at Spa-Francorchamps, Le Mans and Nürburgring, the racers will be looking to end their stint in Mexico by extending their lead with another celebration on the podium.
The trio managed to take pole position from the No.26 G-Drive entry at the Nürburgring after an unfortunate gearbox problem in the third hour forced the latter to stop and ultimately ended their race prematurely. However, despite Signatech Alpine’s impressive 41 point lead there’s still 130 points up for grabs—it truly is still anybody’s series.
As the Championship nears its half way point, there’s sure to be fierce competition in every category. As the competition leaders look to solidify their lead, the rest of the crowd will try to use the unfamiliar track to their advantage.
It’s still too early to call a winner in this year’s series and with everything still to race for, fans of endurance racing can expect to see even more of the passion and high octane thrills that has made the 2016 series one to remember.