The driver you’d expect to do México but isn’t

It's a natural assumption to believe that Marco Bulacia would be competing on the event this year, but that's not the case

Marco Bulacia

As we eagerly await the entry list for next month’s Rally México, we can already make some safe bets as to whose names will appear.

Toyota will field four GR Yaris Rally1s with Sébastien Ogier confirming his presence. M-Sport should provide a Puma Rally1 for Jourdan Serderidis as well as works drivers Ott Tänak and Pierre-Louis Loubet, while Hyundai’s lineup will include Dani Sordo and not Craig Breen.

Similarly, in WRC2 we know that Gus Greensmith’s first senior rally in anything other than a Ford will be in México, while it would appear completely logical (and almost obvious) that he’ll be joined in the Toksport Škoda fold by Marco Bulacia.

As a Bolivian, México is just about as close to home as Bulacia can compete in the WRC, and the rally is the scene of his best WRC result of seventh overall.

In fact, it stands as the only rally to-date the 22-year-old has scored an overall top 10 on with that seventh (and second in WRC2) in 2019 and eighth (and a WRC3 win) the last time Rally México ran in 2020.

Marco Bulacia

The easy conclusion to reach therefore is that México is a no-brainer for Bulacia. But, as it turns out, he won’t be making the trip to Guanajuato.

“No, my next event will be Portugal,” Bulacia told DirtFish.

Why? Given it’s a rally he’s comfortable with.

“Yeah, that’s right. But I was hoping that the promoter would put México and Chile together.

“But I prefer to go to Chile because it’s next to Bolivia. But if next year they put México and Chile together, for sure we will go to both.”

Marco Bulacia

Basically then it comes down to logistics. Chile takes place six months after México, so to do both wouldn’t be frugal on resources with Toksport needing to ship a car across the Atlantic twice over the season – which would naturally come at great cost to Bulacia and his budget.

Bulacia is expected to be back in rally action soon though with an entry into the European Rally Championship-opening Rally Serras de Fafe.

“We are trying to be in the ERC in Rally Serras de Fafe,” he confirmed. “We will try, we are still discussing, and I’m really looking forward to do this event because it will help me a lot to prepare for the WRC event.

“The good thing is that the stages are more or less the same like in the rally [Portugal], so it will be a very, very nice test for the WRC event.”

Marco Bulacia

Bulacia’s season aim in 2023 is the WRC2 Challenger title, and after Monte Carlo and Sweden he shares the series lead with Toksport team-mates Nikolay Gryazin and Sami Pajari.

He’s happy with the results he’s managed to produce so far, particularly considering prior to Monte Carlo he hadn’t driven since August’s Ypres Rally due to injury.

Bulacia said: “After Monte Carlo – OK the pace was not so good [but] I was happy because it was the event after the accident in Ypres, after the injury with a long stop without driving.

“But now everything is getting better, and for sure we will try to be champion of the WRC Challenger.”

Words:Luke Barry