Friday | 15 May 2015

Alén’s Portugal record under threat

Portugal rally master Markku Alén will return to his happy hunting ground next week to see if Sébastien Ogier can match his record five victories on the gravel event.

The Finn will be in Matosinhos for Vodafone Rally de Portugal (21 - 24 May), reminiscing over victories in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1987 that made him a legend with Portuguese fans.

Three of his wins came in Fiat 131 Abarth cars. His first was in a Fiat 124 Abarth Spider and his final victory was at the wheel of a Lancia Delta HF.

But WRC leader Ogier is hot on his heels following wins in a Citroën C4 in 2010 and a DS 3 in 2011, followed by 2013 and 2014 victories in a Volkswagen Polo R.

Alén will have the inside line on Ogier’s record-equalling bid as a guest of Volkswagen at the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

“I have nothing but fond memories of the Rally Portugal,” said Ogier. “I have won there four times already, including the last two years with Volkswagen.

“I have heard that victory this time would see me draw level with Markku Alén, who holds the record for the most wins in Portugal. That is obviously my goal. We know each other already – he is a great guy and I really respect him.”

Victory for Ogier would also match Miki Biasion’s Portugal record of three consecutive wins from 1988 to 1990 for Lancia.

More News