The Desafio Corona
was a stock car racing
series in Mexico
. NASCAR founded the series in 2004 in conjunction with OCESA
, a Mexican entertainment company. The business partnership between NASCAR
resulted in the creation of a new entity, now officially known as NASCAR Mexico
. The former Desafio Corona
series is now known as NASCAR Mexico Corona Series
Desafio Corona Origins
The series was originally known as MasterCard Truck Series
, which was a Crafstman Truck Series look-alike series, founded in 2002.
After the intervention of OCESA, and with the help of SELCA, The Truck Series began to be operated by OCESA Automovilismo, while SELCA was responsible for running the show, being the sanctioning body of the series. After the end of the 2003 season, it was presented at the season finale, the Teleton 100, the new 2004 stock car, a Pontiac Grand Prix, which marked the end of the trucks chapter, and the start of a new era: Stock Car racing in Mexico.
After that, working together with NASCAR, they started to work on safety aspects of cars, adoption of new rules, and rebuilding existing race tracks, or even building new ones.
Their first season started with a schedule of 14 races, with Mara Reyes (Telmex #1 Pontiac) taking pole position for the season opener in Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a race where 26 cars started the race, a big number for Mexican motorsports. This race was won by Jorge Goeters(Canels #18 Pontiac), after 90 laps to the 1 mile oval.
The series then went to Guadalajara and Queretaro, races won by Carlos Contreras, but bad luck came in the 4th race in Monterrey, where in lap 37 of the race, driver Marcelo Nuñez lost control of his car, and was struck at full speed by Rafael Vallina. Nuñez spent a week in Intensive Therapy, only to die of complications by the crash, where he broke his pelvic bone, and had a perforated lung.
At the end of the season, Carlos Pardo of Team Telcel emerged as champion, ahead of his brother Ruben Pardo (Telmex #2 Pontiac), with Rogelio Lopez (2006 Champ) of Telcel 3rd.
Cars of the Desafio Corona Series
The Series competitors race stock cars similar to those used in Late Model classes at short tracks in the U.S., with fiberglass composite bodies and spec engines.
Although there are various cars, they are all under the same rules, which are often modified in the course of the season.
- Brakes: 4 Wheel Discs
- Fuel: SUNOCO 110 Octane
- Fuel Capacity: 15 Gallon
- Front Slick tires: 8x15x27.0
- Rear Slick tires: 10x15x27.0
- Chassis Make:
- ENCO (Mexican Made)
- Spec Truck (American Made)
- Fiberglass Bodies:
In 2005, most of previous and current champions of all of the racing series in Mexico moved into the series (With the notable absence of Open Wheel champions, like Homero Richards) leaving other closed wheel series with young and unexperienced drivers, so the Desafio Corona decided to include those series in a supporting role;
First they included the Dodge Challenge, which included Neon T4 and Dodge Ram Pick Ups, and for 2006, they concentrated on giving a push to the T4 Series, and in some races, they included the Clio Cup México series.
For 2007, the NASCAR Mexico T4 Series its going to become the main support series.
- The Truck Series celebrated one of its races in the parking of the famous Estadio Azteca In Mexico City, creating an oval of about 400 meters long.
- Jorge Goeters, Truck Series and Stock Cars Champion, was the first Mexican to win a Pole Position in a Nascar race, by winning pole for his first race the Telcel Motorola 200, held in Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, in Mexico City.
- The list of people involved in the Desafio Corona include all of the champions (If they haven't retired) of the main categories in Mexican Motorsports from 2000 onwards, from the Mustang, Formula Renault, Mexican Formula 3, Mexican Super Touring, Clio Cup Mexico, and T4 Series (When they were a main category), including drivers Rafael Martinez, Jorge Goeters, Carlos Pardo, Ruben Pardo, Freddy Tame, Ruben Garcia Novoa, Ricardo Perez de Lara, German Quiroga, Homero Richards, Jose Gonzalez Ojeda, Nahum Olin and Patricio Jourdain, cousin of Champ Car and Nascar driver Michel Jourdain.
- The first stock cars were build on the same chassis from the Truck Series trucks, only with improved safety.