Meet the ARA’s latest international team

Ricardo Cordero and GHR Motorsport will make their ARA debut this weekend, and it could impact their future plans


Ricardo Cordero is one of the best rally drivers in the country of Mexico with two national championships, one NACAM championship, and four La Carrera Panamericana wins to his name.

Now Cordera and the team he races with, GHR Motorsport, will be headed to the US for their first taste of the American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National championship this week.

While the team will likely be led in stage times by Cordero, competing in the L4WD class in a Mitsubishi Evo IX, team owner and Rally5 national champion Jerry Hernandez will be there piloting a Mazda 2 Rally5 car in L2WD as well.

The team is well experienced in rallying, but Sno*Drift will be a huge change of pace as they haven’t raced on the snow or ice before, and of course, Sno*Drift doesn’t even allow the benefit of studded tires to aid traction.


“We want to experience snow,” Cordero told DirtFish.

“We live in the middle of the desert, so we don’t have any experience on it, nor we have ever driven on it!

“We want to learn about a different surface [snow and ice], car setup and tire options.

“We want to continue to grow as rally drivers and learn as much as we can. This rally would be a learning adventure, not so much a competition.”

GHR hopes to make this trip to the US more than a one-time thing, but it is having to use Sno*Drift as a gauge for how much interest it has in competing in ARA.

“We want to know the organization and see the competitors,” says Cordero.

“We would love to compete for the whole championship, but it will be difficult since we have to travel a long way to each event, and it’s expensive for us. So, we are taking this rally as a first step.”

If GHR was to embark on a full championship campaign, it’s likely we’d see Hernandez continue to compete with their Mazda Rally5 car, a project they’ve been working on with Mazda to create the cheapest FIA homologated car available for rally.

Marketing it through their own performance, the GHR Mazda 2 Rally5 is a car that they can sell to prospective teams wanting to get into rallying, and bringing the car to the US can expand their reach.

On the other end of the performance pyramid, Cordero typically drives a Citroën C3 Rally2 car, but he had to switch to the Mitsubishi due to the car not complying with US standards.

“We have a Citroën Rally2 car, and that car was our first choice, but [the ARA has] some restrictions for fuel usage with some sponsors, [and] our car does not support that fuel, so we do not have a map for it,” Cordero told DirtFish.

“We would have to solve this if we would like to compete in the USA or ask for help with the Citroën guys.”

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As well as expanding their own exposure into the US, GHR is interested in extending the US reach into Mexico.

“We would love to invite US racers to come to Mexico, we have a local championship which would let your cars race, even if they are not FIA regulated,” Cordero said. “Our rallies are a lot slower than yours, but a bit more technical, and we also do Tarmac rallies.”

The upcoming Nations Rally Guanajuato would be a great foray for US racers hoping to start racing south of the border, being run in the usual World Rally Championship’s Rally Mexico area while the organizers attempt to get the top-flight event reinstated for next year.

Words:Mason Runkel