WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal
One of the oldest and most popular rounds of the WRC. Fast and technical gravel roads inland from Porto in the north and centre of the country are soft and sandy initially, but can become rocky and rutted for the second pass. Plenty of tricky corners hidden by crests while temperatures can soar in Portugal’s early summer.
|Date||11 - 14 May 2023|
|Itinerary / Stages||TBC|
|Watch the rally||Live Stream / TV Guide|
- Sandy roads ensure grip is at a premium for the early starters during the first pass through the stages.
- The surface can degrade to unearth sharp rocks and deep ruts for the second pass. This often requires teams to raise the ride height on their cars to avoid mechanical damage.
- Avoid mechanical issues on the first leg. With no service during the day, car problems can cost huge chunks of time.
- Hard or soft compounds? That’s the big tyre question for drivers searching for the best grip on the soft tracks, whilst also trying to manage the wear over a long group of stages. Or is it a mix of both?
- Gravel suspension.
- Pirelli’s Scorpion gravel tyres have been updated for the new generation of Rally1 cars. They feature extra reinforcement, particularly in the sidewall, to guard against cuts and lacerations from sharp rocks. The hard compound will be the primary choice, with softer rubber also available.
- Based at the Exponor exhibition centre in Matosinhos – the largest in Portugal. Plenty of room outdoors for the manufacturer teams, with smaller set-ups accommodated inside.
TOP 5 moments 2022
- 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.
- Moved back to the north in 2015.
- Named ‘Best Rally in the World’ on five occasions.