Vodafone Rally de Portugal
|Vodafone Rally de Portugal|
- A new base at Matosinhos, north of Porto, as the rally returns to the north for the first time since 2001.
- A Thursday afternoon ceremonial start at Guimarães will be followed by an evening super special stage at Lousada rallycross circuit.
- The first full day heads north for stages around Ponte de Lima, near the Spanish border.
- Saturday’s route, the longest of the rally, journeys east for tests near Amarante.
- Sunday’s leg has just three stages, with the focus on the classic Fafe test.
- A new rally for all. Northern Portugal last saw WRC action in 2001, so none of the top drivers have experience of the stages there. With the exception of…..
- Fafe. For the last three years, the Fafe Rally Sprint was held on a 6km section of the classic stage the weekend before the WRC event, attracting crowds of almost 100,000 annually.
- All crews must prepare brand new pace notes. That will ensure an intense recce and plenty of late night work for co-drivers as they fine-tune the notes ahead of the start.
- Gravel suspension.
- Abrasive surface places high demands on tyres, especially if hot weather sends the thermometer rising.
- First held in 1967 and one of the founding events in the inaugural 1973 WRC.
- Initially a mixed surface rally, it switched to a pure gravel format but lost its place in the calendar after bad weather ruined the 2001 event.
- Organisers moved from the north to the Algarve holiday region in the south and it regained its place in 2007.
- Named ‘Best Rally in the World’ on five occasions.
What’s new for 2015
- Everything! These stages have not been used in the WRC since 2001.
- The classic Fafe stage – one of the all-time great WRC tests.
- It’s Fafe again! Head to the big jump and soak up the atmosphere alongside tens of thousands of fans.
- Remember to take a look at Jari-Matti Latvala’s dramatic 2009 crash when he rolled a Ford Focus RS WRC 17 times down a hillside. See it again at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrRNxB3i9rg
Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2015