Tributes have been paid to the man who introduced the FIA World Rally Championship to México.
Juan Suberville – who passed away at the weekend (October 15) aged 75 due to natural causes – has been described as “a visionary” who will leave “a lasting legacy within the sport” of rallying.
Suberville – a French-born businessman – was widely known to be the driving force behind the event's inclusion in the competition, which it has been a part of for most of the last two decades.
He achieved World status with help from his brother Patrick and since 2004 when it debuted in the Championship, Rally México has taken place on 17 occasions, with Sebastien Ogier the most recent winner. And in El Chocolat, it boasted the longest special stage at nearly 55 kilometres.
In the event's absence from the WRC, he was also instrumental in creating ‘Rally of the Nations' – a competition that has drivers represent their country by competing in different category cars.
Featuring two drivers of the same nationality, it last ran in 2022 and is making a return next season as Rally México promoters build towards Leon's return to the sport's top-flight in time for 2025.
Rally of the Nations is considered a way of keeping Mexico in the minds of crews, teams, sponsors, and the WRC promoter, and to remind them of what they are missing through the World Rally Championship's absence.
“Juan was a visionary who changed the idea of a modern WRC event and will leave a lasting legacy within the sport,” said Jona Siebel, the World Rally Championship's Promoter Manager Director.
“To help bring the World Rally Championship to a country where rallying barely existed and create an event that set a new standard right from the outset, is a remarkable feat,” continued Siebel.
Writing on the social media platform X – formerly Twitter – Diego Sinhue Rodríguez, the governor of Guanajuato, said: “I deeply regret the departure of a great friend from Guanajuato, Juan Suberville Tron, president and founder of Rally México.
“I am sending a big hug to [his] family, friends and the Rally Mexico community. Rest in peace.”