May 202017
 

More than 25,000 Chevrolet owners route directly to Spanish-speaking advisors when they push the blue button.

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Chevrolet owners are expected to use OnStar’s Spanish-speaking advisor team more in 2017 than any previous year. OnStar has provided Chevrolet owners with a dedicated Spanish language team for more than 10 years to help with everything from directions to emergency services. Last year, more than 1,000 Spanish-speaking Chevrolet drivers pushed the blue OnStar button in the United States every single day, an increase of 30 percent from 2013. Chevrolet already has seen nearly 100,000 blue button presses in the first quarter of 2017 and expects these numbers will continue to climb in 2017.

Spanish-speaking OnStar advisors speak to drivers in all 50 states, with the highest volume of calls from Texas, California, Florida, Illinois and Arizona.

“We understand that not all Chevrolet owners speak English fluently or at all, but we didn’t want that to be an obstacle in providing them with the same service we offer all OnStar customers,” said Terry Inch, executive director of GM’s Global Connected Customer Experience. “As a result, OnStar has a dedicated team of advisors who can help Spanish-speaking customers keep safe, connected and ready for the road ahead.”

Chevrolet owners can have their OnStar requests routed to a Spanish-speaking advisor if they prefer. More than 25,000 Chevrolet owners are currently routed directly to OnStar’s Spanish-speaking advisors when they push the blue button. There are two ways to sign up for Spanish-language assistance. Chevrolet owners can ask a dealer to enroll them at the time of purchase by pressing the blue OnStar button, prompting a welcome call. During that call, the new owner can request that all future blue button presses route straight to the Spanish team. Existing Chevrolet owners with an active OnStar account can also press the blue button and make the request to transfer to a Spanish-speaking advisor on a case-by-case basis or automatically for every call.

“Across the board, our data tells us that Spanish-speaking customers are well-informed when it comes to in-vehicle technology,” Inch said. “In addition to using OnStar core services, we’ve seen that Spanish-speaking customers are likely to use the myChevrolet mobile app to remote start their vehicles, lock their cars and even check their vehicle’s diagnostics.”

The OnStar Basic Plan is available for five years at no charge on all new Chevrolet vehicles. Any Chevrolet owner with a 2011 or newer equipped vehicle can also receive three free years of the Basic Plan by hitting the blue OnStar button and asking for “Three Years on Us.” The Basic Plan includes access to select features in the myChevrolet mobile app, Dealer Maintenance Notification and Advanced Diagnostics.

May 102017
 

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, but the way in which states and parents regulate teen behavior can have a huge impact. Latino Traffic Report has learned that a new analysis by CarInsurance.com found safe driving environments for teens vary greatly by state, with Maryland and New York ranking among the safest.

In contrast, Montana and North Dakota have the most dangerous driving environments for teens.

The safest states for teen drivers are:

  1. Maryland
  2. New York
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Connecticut
  5. Massachusetts

The most dangerous states for teen drivers are:

  1. Montana
  2. North Dakota
  3. Kansas
  4. Wyoming
  5. Alabama

This is the second year that CarInsurance.com performed this analysis. Maryland and Massachusetts are the only states from last year’s top three to again make the top three this year (Massachusetts and Alaska were first and third respectively last year).

Montana and North Dakota are again the bottom two states this year. Last year, Louisiana joined them as third from the bottom.

To identify the best and worst states for teen drivers, CarInsurance.com analyzed five teen-driving metrics:

  • Number of teen driver fatalities per 100,000 population
  • Effectiveness of Graduated Driving License (GDL) components
  • Teen drinking and driving rates
  • Teen emailing/texting and driving rates
  • Average annual insurance costs for teen drivers

Results this year compared to last year

New winner this year:

  • Maryland topped our list this year as the safest state for teen drivers, after finishing second last year.
  • The state had a low number of teen-related fatal accidents in 2015 (.3 per 100,000 residents) and has some of the strongest GDL laws in the country.
  • The new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System results on driving and drinking or texting were the major differences this year

Why last’s years No. 1 fell in rankings:

  • Last year’s safest state, Massachusetts, dropped to fifth place this year. The Bay State continued having one of the lowest teen-related fatal accident rate and strong GDL laws, which helped it to edge out California and Virginia for the No. 5 rank.
  • Massachusetts survey numbers were worse than Maryland’s, which contributed to Massachusetts dropping from the top spot.

The losers stay the same:

  • On the other side, Montana and North Dakota remained in the bottom two spots.
  • Both states had a high per capita number of fatal accidents involving teens, lacked strong GDL provisions, and experienced poor teen survey results for drinking while driving and texting while driving.

To get complete rankings, see how states fared on individual metrics and to read our methodology, view the full story “Teen driving safety: Least and most dangerous states.”

Apr 032017
 

 

Torrance, Calif. (March 31, 2017) – Los Angeles is known for a combination of tried-and-true Mexican restaurants, as well some novel, haute cuisine drawing its inspiration from South of the Border.

For one night only this week, Angelenos had the opportunity to buy elevated Mexican food at its finest—a $17,051 enchilada. Well, maybe not really. Instead, Toyota partnered with Trejo’s Tacos, the restaurant hot spot by Actor Danny Trejo, to sell the “enchilada con YarisiA” for $17,051, featuring an enchilada that comes with a 2017 Yaris iA.

Actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo.

The event, which offered $1 enchiladas, helped spread the word about the YarisiA, a vehicle that comes with pretty much everything standard, including a seven-inch touch screen, push button start, steering wheel controls, 16-in alloy wheels and remote keyless entry.

There are no packages needed—it really is the whole enchilada.

“When Toyota asked me to host the event at Trejo’s Tacos, I thought it would be a great way to have fun with all our fans, customers, and the people of LA,” said Trejo.

The event supported a digital campaign that will be in flight through May 31—‘The Full Package’ highlights the Yaris iA, which comes fully loaded with standard features, eschewing the traditional upsell mentality of additional packages.

As an alternative for those who really crave a package with their new Yaris iA, Toyota has created a cheeky range of fun, delicious, and somewhat impractical add-ons to choose from.

To view packages, which can only be purchased by new YarisiA owners, click on the below links:

The Full Trim Package
The Thank You Package
The Whole Enchilada Package
The Self Driving Package 
The Min-iA-ture Package 
The Nature Package
The Deluxe Package
The Convertible Package
The +1 Follower Package
The Great Outdoors Package 
The Collector’s Edition Package
The Memes Package

Mar 282017
 

Honda had a brilliant start to the 2017 Moto3 Word Championship, taking the top five places at the end of a typically thrilling multi-rider battle. The top eight finishers passed the checkered flag separated by less than nine tenths of a second! Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V, #93) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) finished tonight’s season-opening Qatar Grand Prix in fourth and fifth positions, just four tenths of a second apart at the finish line.

The race started 45 minutes later after the freakish desert weather that has dominated much of this weekend threatened to soak the track once again. A brief shower as riders lined up on the grid caused the nerve-wracking delay, but in the end none of that mattered as the world’s greatest riders laid on a battle royal under the floodlights. Then, as riders returned to their pits after the race, the heavens properly opened.

Marc Marquez

Reigning World Champion Marquez started the race from the front row of the grid but he never expected an easy race, because this is not one of his favorite racetracks. The night’s tricky conditions complicated matters further, with the track surface cooling rapidly and dew forming in some areas.

“I think we worked well over the weekend, and we had everything clear for today,” Marquez shared.  “Our plan was to use the harder front compound, but the chaotic situation with the rain and the continuous delays created many doubts. In the end we decided to go with the medium front, aiming to reduce the risk of crashing, but this turned out to be our biggest mistake of the weekend.”

The 24-year-old Spaniard was in the lead group from the very beginning, chasing early leader and rookie Johann Zarco (Yamaha), who crashed out after-one third distance, highlighting the delicate grip situation. In the later stages Marquez slipped back a few seconds to finish fourth, six seconds behind winner Maverick Vinales (Yamaha).

His issue was the cooling conditions that prompted him to change his front tire on the grid, from the usual hard compound to the medium compound, in the hope that this tire would retain its temperature more efficiently in the cool conditions. In fact Marquez used up

Dani Pedrosa

much of the tire’s performance in the first few laps, which meant he could not maintain his usual hard-charging style in the later laps.

“We were aware that we struggle a bit at this track, but as always we kept a positive attitude, as we also knew that if everything was in place, we could have fought for the podium or even the victory,” said Marquez.

Pedrosa had a great race, fighting his way through from the third row of the grid to move forward as the shortened 20-lap race went on. The 31-year-old former 125cc and 250cc World Champion also used the medium front and was happy with his performance at a track that has never been really kind to him. Like all the other riders, the Spaniard did superbly to maintain his focus in the run-up to the race, despite the delays.

In the final laps the main interest focused on Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) who showed a fine turn of speed. After getting the better of Morbidelli’s team-mate Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) the Portuguese closed the gap on Nakagami, but wasn’t quite close enough to attack on the final lap. Marquez finished a strong fifth, well clear of Luca Marini (Forward Team Kalex), who got to the checkered flag just two tenths ahead of impressive Moto2 rookie Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40 Kalex).

The MotoGP circus leaves Qatar tomorrow, making its way to Argentina for the second round of the 2017 MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 World Championships on April 9.

Feb 212017
 

Auto shows offer a peek at what consumers may expect to see on car lots soon or in the near future. The largest auto show in the country, the Chicago Auto Show, just wrapped up and during the media preview, attended by Latino Traffic Report, manufacturers revealed more choices for a diverse consumer market.

More than two years since the first Titan was unveiled, Nissan completes the tale of this groundbreaking pickup-with the intro of the King Cab or extended cab version of the 2017 Titan. Nissan VP Fred Diaz held a tailgate chat with journalists, expressing satisfaction with the King Cab and announcing that the Titan line-up is now complete.

Tailgate chat with Nissan VP Fred Diaz.

“The launch of the new King Cab body is the last step in a journey that began in December 2015 with the debut of the breakthrough TITAN XD, which continues to carve out a unique white space between competitors’ heavy-duty and half-ton trucks,” said Diaz, division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. “Now, with the addition of a half-ton TITAN, our new Endurance V8, three body configurations, three bed lengths and a range of grade levels and equipment packages, we’re covering nearly every segment in the personal and commercial full-size truck markets. Add to that the industry’s best five-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and the TITAN family is even more compelling.”

Offered in 4×4 and 4×2 and on both the half-ton and XD versions of the Titan, the King Cab (not to be confused with the four-door Crew Cab) features wide opening rear-hinged doors for added convenience. Potential commercial truck users will appreciate a first-in-segment “rear seat delete” option that removes the rear seat, rear heater duct, and rear roof-mounted assist grips and adds a flat rear load floor and rear wall finisher with tie-down hooks.

Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition

The Titan and Titan XD King Cabs should go on sale this spring.

Continuing to leverage the Rogue via its marketing alliance with LucasFilm. Ltd. and its latest blockbuster, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Nissan displayed the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition package featuring Star Wars badging on the kickplates, floor mats, and Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire logos in cupholder inserts and interior accent lighting. Only available on a Rogue SV trim equipped with the Sun and Sound Touring Package makes it more accessible and unique, but not fancy. Nissan plans to produce only 5,400 with the package costing approximately $1,990 extra.

Finally, Nissan expanded its lineup of Midnight Edition vehicles, previously only available on the Maxima, introducing five new models in Chicago, namely the Sentra, Altima, Rogue, Murano and Pathfinder The trend of “darkened” accenting on vehicles appears to have its appeal as more and more brands introduce them. The black wheels, spoiler, mirror caps and available special floor mats with additional equipment added by model will set the new Midnight Editions apart.

Midnight Edition Nissan Rogue

“The six models offering Midnight Edition packages account for more than 75 percent of our U.S. sales, so we think they will find a receptive audience.” said Christian Meunier, senior vice president, Nissan Sales and Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America, Inc.; chairman, Nissan Canada.

On sale now, available exterior colors include Red Alert, Super Black, Aspen White, and Gun Metallic.

For drivers with special needs, Chrysler displayed a modified Pacifica with wheelchair access, part of its new partnership with a leader in aftermarket modifications for the disabled, BraunAbility. Included in the FCA US Automobility Program, the modified Pacifica will help ease the financial burden of drivers and passengers with physical challenges. Through this program, customers can be reimbursed for up to a maximum of $1,000 for out-of-pocket expenses to install qualifying adaptive driver or passenger equipment on a purchased or leased new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or FIAT vehicle.

Alex Fedorak introduces the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition.

Marking its centennial, Mitsubishi also introduced a Limited Edition of the Outlander Sport, its most popular vehicle. Positioned directly above the ES trim level or base model, it will include 18-inch wheels, a rearview camera, an aluminum-alloy fuel door, and high-intensity discharge headlights.

Interior details include black cloth seating, red accent stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob, and brake lever, aluminum-covered pedals, and heated front seats.

“A lot of things have happened over the course of the last 100 years,” said Alex Fedorak, public relations manager for Mitsubishi. “A lot of innovations, and I’m proud to say that we were one of those innovators along the way.”

The Outlander Sport Limited Edition will be in dealerships later this month for $21,995 and available through the end of the model year.

For more views and information about the vehicles featured at the Chicago Auto Show, go to http://www.chicagoautoshow.com.

 

Jan 232017
 

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Tristan Nunez will join the two-car Mazda Prototype team that will compete in the top category of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Other drivers include Jonathan Bomarito, Tom Long, and Joel Miller.

The No. 55 Mazda Prototype (Soul Red Crystal livery) will be driven for the third consecutive season by the pairing of  Bomarito, 34, of Louisville, Tenn., and  Nunez, 21, of Boca Raton, Fla. Bomarito and Nunez recorded a league-leading three pole positions in 2016, led six races, and finished seventh in the final Prototype driver point standings.

Tristan Nunez

“I could not be more excited to get the season started. There have been quite a few rules changes that I am sure will make for an exciting race,” said Nunez. “As for the drivers, to be paired with Jonathan again is such an honor. I have learned so much from him, and I’m looking forward to another year alongside him and being under the Mazda tent with Joel and Tom for the full season. Really, I couldn’t have asked for a better group! I believe we’ve got what it takes to win, and I’m so excited to show that this season!”

Nunez holds the record as the youngest champion in a professional class of road racing in North America. He won the IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda (nee: Prototype Lites) series in 2012 with 11 wins at age 17. He became a Mazda-backed driver after winning the prestigious open-wheel Walter Hayes Trophy event at Silverstone, England. Nunez does presentations across the country on behalf of his own “Dnt txt n drV Foundation,” which is devoted to educating young people about the dangers of distracted driving.

 

Dec 282016
 

Chevy press conference during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. L to R: NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy; Florida A&M University Senior Michael Sanchez; Brigham Young University Senior Joy Kaseke; University of Houston Junior Nicole Dequina; James Madison University Sophomore Rachel Frost; and Chevrolet Program Manager Alba Colon. (HHP/Gregg Ellman)

Latino Traffic Report has learned that the second annual NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest winners were recently announced at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Four undergraduate students from across the country were awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships and treated to a VIP experience at today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the AAA Texas 500.

The contest challenged students to identify a technology or innovation within NASCAR, then explain how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals came to its design in 90-second videos. Video submissions were judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production quality.

Florida A&M University Senior Michael Sanchez autographed the start/finish line on Pit Road at Texas Motor Speedway.

Through this initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to STEM education and promoting opportunities for college students pursuing technology related careers. “This was a pretty eye-opening experience that gave me a different perspective of everything involved in racing … it’s pretty amazing,” said Florida A&M senior and scholarship recipient Michael Sanchez.

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the STEM field,” said Ken Barrett, chief diversity officer for General Motors. “At GM, we know diversity is our strength, and having diverse talent in the STEM pipeline keeps both the automotive and racing industries on the cutting edge of innovation.”

Before taking in the AAA Texas 500, the students had the chance to meet with Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott and Richard Childress Racing driver Ryan Newman, who graduated from Purdue University with an engineering degree. The VIP experience also included: pace car rides, garage and pit road tour, and a meet-and-greet with Chevrolet’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager Alba Colon.

“Together with Chevrolet, we’re proud to support great talent and recognize these students with a unique, behind-the-scenes NASCAR experience,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We received several impressive submissions and we’re thrilled to see so many students interested in the science and technology behind the sport.”

For more information on the NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest, please visit http://chevyscholarship.nascardiversity.com/.

Dec 072016
 

Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has learned that Alfonso Albaisa, INFINITI executive design director, took an all-new INFINITI Q60 to Havana—the first United States-spec car registered in Cuba in 58 years—to trace his roots back to his parents’ birthplace. Now based in Japan, where he oversees all four INFINITI design studios across the world, Albaisa grew up in Miami. This was his first opportunity to visit Cuba and see the curves of the mid-century modern architecture of his great-uncle Max Borges-Recio, including the Tropicana, Club Nautico, as well as Borges Recio’s own home. In the process, Albaisa may have also found the origins of his own design DNA that is expressed in the unique flowing lines of current INFINITI vehicles.

Alfonso Albaisa, INFINITI executive design director.

LTR first met Albaisa, at the North American International Auto Show in 2012 in Detroit where he introduced the all-new Pathfinder as vice president, Nissan Design America. At the time, he had had a hand in the development of products like the Juke, Altima, Maxima, and Rogue. In Detroit, the new Pathfinder didn’t receive any drama (it was billed a concept), which belied the revolutionary redesign of the all-new model. Gone was its truck-like look as well as construction. The Pathfinder (recently redesigned again in 2017) was now a unibody constructed SUV but Albaisa and the Nissan PR folks declined to declare it a crossover, but rather, a “next generation SUV.”

According to Albaisa, the switch to a unibody, and the accompanying rounded exterior, came from customer input. “They want the utility but not the bouncy ride and poor fuel efficiency of a body on frame SUV,” he said at the time.

“We have a display at the design center with postage stamp-sized photos of each member and their country of origin. The feeling of diversity is really about the stories that we share,” he said.

The next year, he had been promoted to his current position at Infiniti. LTR caught up to him at the Nissan 360 event where he shared his vision for the future.

Rather than trying to keep up with European carmakers, he said Infiniti would focus on what it meant to be a premium brand. He embraced the brand’s sensual fluid lines and sculpted shapes that set it apart as a “seductive provocateur.” For inspiration, he unveiled a trilogy of exquisite concept cars named “essence, etherea, and EMERG-E.”

Nov 282016
 

premio

Latino Traffic Report has learned that the Hispanic Motor Press recently announced the winners of the 2017 Autos del Año – the Hispanic Motor Press Awards. With approximately 250 different car models to choose from and on average 40 totally new models every year, selecting the best is not an easy task. This year’s panel of content influencers/journalists drives and evaluates new cars throughout the year to evaluate the attributes best suited for the Hispanic consumer.

“We are excited that The Hispanic Motor Press Awards is widely recognized by the automobile industry with multiple brands using the awards on their advertising and marketing campaigns,” said Ricardo Rodriguez-Long, founder of Hispanic Motor Press and continued: “Our independence from specific media outlets and voluntary submissions by car manufactures give our jury members and expert voices in their fields the ability to choose vehicles that better serve the needs, lifestyles, and tastes of U.S. Hispanic consumers.”

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Compact Auto del Año

This year’s winners include:

Sub-compact Mitsubishi Mirage G4

Compact Honda Civic Hatchback

Mid-Size Sedan Alfa Romeo Giulia

Large Sedan KIA Cadenza

Compact Cross-Over BMW X1

Mid-Size Cross-Over Nissan Murano

Large Cross-Over Hyundai Santa Fe

2017 Nissan Titan Full-Size Pickup del Año.

2017 Nissan Titan Full-Size Pickup del Año

EV Vehicle Chevrolet Bolt

Sport utility Vehicle Mazda CX9

Pick-Up Medium Size Chevrolet Colorado

Pick-up Full Size Nissan Titan

Minivan Chrysler Pacifica

Sports Car Ford Mustang

American Muscle Chevrolet Camaro 50Th Anniversary

Adventure 4×4 JEEP Wrangler 75th Anniversary

For more information on the The Hispanic Motor Press Awards see www.hispanicmotorpressawards.com.

Nov 072016
 
Johnny Guindi Hamui from Mexico realized his motorsport dreams today as he was crowned the 2016 Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy International champion at Silverstone Circuit.

Johnny Guindi Hamui celebrates with teammates from Mexico after becoming the 2016 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy International champion.

Johnny Guindi Hamui from Mexico realized his motorsport dreams recently as he was crowned the 2016 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy International champion at Silverstone Circuit.

The 22-year-old triumphed above 35 other elite Gran Turismo gamers from around the world, winning a place on the comprehensive Nissan Driver Development Program and a race seat in the 2017 Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai race, alongside 2011 GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough.

The decision came after an epic eight-day Race Camp in the UK, with Hamui chosen as the winner due to his consistent pace and adaptability throughout the week, as well as a willingness to listen and take on all the advice given to him throughout Race Camp.Mexico’s Johnny Guindi Hamui crowned 2016 GT Academy Internati

In a new format for 2016, Race Camp came to an end with a 16-lap endurance race around Silverstone International Circuit, with two competitors from each territory taking part in the final race. In previous years, mentors have selected just one competitor to contest the race, but this new format gave a more in-depth look at how a larger range of competitors perform on the big occasion.

When the race got underway, Mexico initially made a quick getaway and led into the first corner. However, they were hauled in by the quick starting Mohamed Wally from North Africa who took the lead and built a gap in his eleven-lap stint. Mexico pitted early, changing Enrique Manjarrez for Hamui, who within two laps had set the fastest lap of the race.

When North Africa eventually stopped, Hamui had narrowed the gap completely and the pair went into the first corner side-by-side after North Africa emerged from the pits. Hamui then went on to take and consolidate the lead before seeing the checkered flag.

“I can’t believe it,” said Hamui. “What I’ve just achieved is going to take a while to sink in! It’s been an unbelievable experience with some seriously tough competitors, and I’ve had the best time of my life. In the race I was just so concentrated on doing a good job that my eleven laps in the car flew by … I can’t describe the feeling when Jann read out my name as the winner.”

Hamui’s journey with Nissan will begin almost immediately, as he takes to the track for a national event at Brands Hatch this weekend with Nissan’s RJN Motorsport team. RJN Motorsport, who run Nissan’s participation in the Blancpain Sprint and Endurance Series throughout Europe, will also be the team that Hamui will race for in Dubai in the Nissan 370Z GT4 NISMO.

Mexico’s Johnny Guindi Hamui crowned 2016 GT Academy Internati“The final race was just phenomenal,” said Mike Carcamo, director, Nissan Motorsport. “Hats off to all the teams who did a great job with the new format with the two drivers. It made for a really exciting race. Johnny did a great job in his second stint, having to come from behind and also overtaking guys and pushing hard. This was a real-life racing scenario and another great year for GT Academy!”

Hamui earned his place at Race Camp from the hundreds of thousands of Gran Turismo gamers that entered the competition across the world.

Having won through the Mexico National Final, he arrived at Silverstone as one of six to represent Mexico, alongside 35 International competitors overall, split into six territory groups. Each group formed a close bond with their territory judge who acted as a mentor, but then had to make the difficult decisions when it came to eliminations from the competition.

The on-track action got underway last Wednesday with six finalists from Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, North Africa, Philippines and Thailand. Throughout their week at International Race Camp, a series of both racing and physical challenges whittled them down to twelve  that took part in the final race.