2020 WRC2 champion Mads Østberg will compete in next month’s Rally of Nations Guanajuato event on April 1-3.
Østberg began his 2022 season with a one-off outing in the Middle East Rally Championship in February, driving a Škoda Fabia Rally2 on Rally Qatar. But he has now announced that he will return to the stages of Mexico to take part in the Rally of Nations event, which is running for the first time since 2009.
“I am really happy I can go back to Mexico,” explained Østberg. “It’s an event that I’ve really enjoyed in the past and I have lots of good memories and so forth, some good podiums from there as well. So will be nice to be back there and see the rally and stages again.”
The 34-year-old has competed on Rally México on six previous occasions, achieving a best result of second in 2015, when the rally was part of the World Rally Championship.
This will be the first time he competes for his country, rather than a team.
“It’s nice to be able to compete for your country for once,” he said. “Normally we are working for a manufacturer. I think it will be really nice.”
Østberg is yet to confirm what car he will be competing in on the event. But regardless of the car he drives, he’s excited to be heading back to the rally, where he says drivers are treated completely differently to anywhere else, and tackling some of the country’s iconic stages.
Any of the rallies we do are quite similar, but this one really stands out in terms of format of the stages and characteristics of the road.Mads Østberg on the Guanajuato event
“It’s one of the first rallies I’ve been to in the past where I’ve felt like a rockstar,” he said.
“They have this unique way of cheering and supporting rally. I think rally is a big sport in Mexico and you can really tell when you do the stages in Guanajuato and also down in León.
“It’s really unique with lots of spectators and they are not as quiet as the Europeans, let’s say. They make really loud and positive vibes to the whole event.
“It’s a unique event in terms of the altitude and the stages as well.”
“Any of the rallies we do are quite similar, but this one really stands out in terms of format of the stages and characteristics of the road and also of course with the altitude and the big city as well, which is really nice.
“So it’s the atmosphere there, the people, everything is just a little bit different to what we are used to and very unique and that’s why I really enjoy this rally.”