28 - 30 May 10
Categories:WRC, SWRC, JWRC
Most Recent Winner:Sebastien Ogier (2010)
Portugal is a country with a long rallying tradition. The first Portuguese round of the WRC came in 1973, and over the next 29 years it went on to become one of the most difficult and notorious rallies on earth.
In the 1980s the event earned a reputation for tricky road conditions (often a mix of gravel and asphalt) and unruly crowds of spectators, while in more recent years Portugal was a gravel-only event, based on the west coast near Porto. In 2001, however, it was dropped - replaced on the calendar by Rallye Deutschland.
In 2007, after two years of candidacy, Portugal's return to the WRC with a new base on the south coast represented a fresh start. And after a year out in 2008, the rally was one of the highlights of the 2009 season. The 'new' Rally Portugal features a base in the Algarve Stadium - which also hosts a Super Special stage - and a spectacular selection of gravel stages in the Algarve and Alentejo regions to the north.
This year's event builds on that successful theme. The Algarve Stadium plays host to the Service Park and the Super Special, while a few tweaks to the route will keep the drivers on their toes.
A refresh for much of the 2009 route. The biggest chance concerns the Santa Clara stage, which is now run in reverse, while most of the rally's other stages feature new starts or finishes.