Crews will tackle the all-asphalt course, the first of 22 on the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia, in reverse order with eight-time WRC title-winner Sebastien Loeb going 49th and last in his Citroen DS3 WRC.
Following the stage, competitors will head to a regroup in Ourique when the exciting running order for Thursday’s three night stages will be formalised.
Loeb’s Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen has elected to run first on the road tonight followed by Loeb, M-Sport Ford pilot Ott Tanak and Prodrive MINI ace Dani Sordo. Factory Ford drivers Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala have chosen to start in 16th and 17th positions respectively.
“It’s an honour and I am very happy that the organisers gave the chance to me,” said Silva, who is from the Portuguese island of Madeira and will drive a Ford Fiesta R2. “The crowds here will be very big and as a Portuguese competing here on my home rally, the chance to drive first in front of these people will be a real pleasure. First on the road is a real pleasure.”
Silva’s WRC Academy rival Christopher Duplessis will go second on the road through SSS Lisboa with fellow WRC Academy drivers John MacCrone and Jose Suarez third and fourth respectively.