Interview with Gustavo Sánchez, winner of the World Rally Championship Mexico 2013
By Jade Arroyo
In San Miguel de Allende there is a workshop that specializes in race cars for competition, Mat Hammarlund Racing. They have worked with such drivers as Stig Blomqvist, Harri Rovanpera, Michel Jourdain and Ricardo Treviño, and their cars have been driven in the Carrera Panamericana, Rally WRC and Nascar México. Recently, one of the youngest members of their crew, Gustavo Sánchez, took first place in his category in the Rally León World Rally Championship (WRFC), which was held March 7 through 10 in the nearby city of León. Gustavo is originally from San Luis Potosí, but now he lives and works in San Miguel. From an early age he was drawn to cars and racing; this was his first big win in his career. It is likely that a reality show about Mat Hammarlund Racing will be filmed soon.
Jade Arroyo: What importance does the rally have in Mexico?
Gustavo Sánchez: It is a sport where there is a lot of passion and skill, but a lot of people want to treat it as if it were a private club. More access is needed, to open up it more, perhaps by lowering the costs so more people have a chance to roll in and try it.
JA: How does the scene look for this sport in our country?
GS: I believe it has an attractive future. The natural and varied landscapes and locations help to make Mexico a really attractive destination because of its diversity. The Acapulco rally is very pretty; the Puebla rally is very different from the one in Oaxaca or the dry weather we have in León.
JA: What driver do you most admire?
GS: The Frenchman Sebastian Loeve. He won nine times and he’s my inspiration; he’s got a peculiar way of driving, very relaxed, but he has the best times. I would like to drive in the world rally in the first category.
JA: What’s the importance of a good car in the practice of this sport?
GS: It is basic that the car be in good shape, and also reliable, because the rallies are very long and cover rough terrain, so the car must withstand this and be maneuverable.
JA: What are the qualities of a good racer?
GS: Foremost, your mental state. You need to have a lot of confidence in yourself. Skill and knowledge are also important, obviously, but the main thing is trusting your instincts and being able to make fast decisions.
For further information about this sport and rallies, see www.wrc.com/.