Ford driver Markko Martin believes that the incorrect tyre choice ahead of the inaugural Rally Mexico this weekend could cost a team its chance at top rally honours “before it even starts.”

Ford driver Markko Martin believes that the incorrect tyre choice ahead of the inaugural Rally Mexico this weekend could cost a team its chance at top rally honours “before it even starts.”

The seasoned Focus RS WRC driver is one of many who have not seen the rally stages before running of the latest addition to the World Rally Championship.

Under the new rules, teams must submit their tyre choices several weeks ahead of each rally. Predicting which tyres would be most suited to the gravel roads in Mexico could be crucial, Martin said.

“The new rules make tyre selection even more difficult. Because the championship has not been to Mexico before, we had to choose the tread pattern before we had even seen the roads,” Martin said. “Make a mistake at this point, and a team could effectively have lost a rally before it even starts.”

However Martin, who lies third in the championship standings, believes that if Ford has made a good tyre choice, he has the car to take the fight to Citroen's Sebastien Loeb. The Frenchman has won both rounds of the championship thus far.

“It has been a long time since we had a fast gravel rally,” Martin explained. “But I believe the stages are mostly fast and flowing, which are the types of roads I enjoy and on which the Focus is good. Almost all the top drivers have never seen the stages before and that means the level of experience is virtually the same for everyone.”

Original article from Car