Friday | 29 Apr 2022

Huge entry for Rally de Portugal

Next month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal (19 - 22 May) has received a massive 100-car entry for the opening gravel fixture of the FIA World Rally Championship’s hybrid era.

Organiser Automóvel Club de Portugal released a list on Friday evening that contains 12 top-tier Rally1 cars and a remarkable 41 entries in the WRC2 premier support category.

Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä heads the line-up for the fourth round of the season in Toyota Gazoo Racing’s GR Yaris. The Finn is joined by Sébastien Ogier, who replaces Esapekka Lappi for his second outing of the year, and Elfyn Evans.

Takamoto Katsuta pilots a fourth GR Yaris for the Japanese manufacturer’s second-string squad.

M-Sport Ford becomes the first team to field five Rally1 cars. Monte-Carlo winner Sébastien Loeb, Craig Breen and Adrien Fourmaux are the nominated Puma drivers for the British squad, with Gus Greensmith and Pierre-Louis Loubet listed in additional cars.

Video: Best of action Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2021

Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak represent Hyundai Motorsport in i20 N cars, with Dani Sordo replacing Oliver Solberg in the third entry for his first outing of the season.

Points leader Andreas Mikkelsen tops the WRC2 contenders in a Skoda Fabia Rally2. The Norwegian is joined in the Toksport squad by Marco Bulacia.

Yohan Rossel, who scored a maiden category win at the Croatia Rally last weekend, will look for more success in a Citroën C3.

Hyundai Motorsport N makes its first appearance of the season. Teemu Suninen and Fabrizio Zaldivar are nominated in i20 N Rally2 cars, while Solberg steps down a level in a third entry from the Korean manufacturer.

Other frontrunners are likely to include the Fabias of Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Chris Ingram and 2021 Portuguese Championship runner-up Armindo Araujo.

Erik Cais pilots a Ford Fiesta while additional C3s are in the hands of Jan Solans, Eric Camilli and Stéphane Lefebvre. Eerik Pietarinen and Georg Linnamäe pilot Volkswagen Polo GTIs.

The rally marks the third round of the FIA Junior WRC and series leader Lauri Joona tops a seven-driver line-up, all in M-Sport Poland Fiesta Rally3 cars. Fellow junior contenders Sami Pajari, William Creighton and Mcrae Kimathi join Joona in also being registered for WRC3.

The four-day rally is based in Matosinhos, from where competitors will tackle 21 special stages covering almost 340km.

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