Thursday | 29 Jan 2015

Classic Fafe test back in WRC

The iconic Fafe special stage will return to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since 2001 as part of an all-new route unveiled by Vodafone Rally de Portugal (21 - 24 May) organisers.

Famed for its spectacular jump and huge crowds, Fafe will be driven twice on the final day of the season’s fifth round. The second pass will form the live TV Power Stage.

The rally returns to the north of the country for the first time since a rain-soaked event in 2001 led to it being dropped from the championship. It returned to the series in the Algarve holiday region in the south in 2007, but never regained the fan support associated with the north.

It will be based in Matosinhos, near Porto, where the single service park will be located. After a Thursday afternoon ceremonial start at Guimarães, the action will open with an evening super special stage at Lousada rallycross circuit.

The first full day heads north for stages around Ponte de Lima, near the Spanish border. Saturday’s route, the longest of the rally, journeys east for tests near Amarante while Sunday has just three stages, with the focus on the classic Fafe.

The 16 stages cover 352.09km.

Organising committee chairman Mário Martins da Silva outlined the excitement building ahead of the rally’s return to the north.

“This year the rally has a special flavour with the return to the north of Portugal, a mythical scenery for national motorsports. We are expecting larger crowds, more passion and constant thrills throughout the three days of the event,” he said.

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