Tuesday | 26 May 2015

New-look Portugal gets thumbs-up

Organisers of the new-look Vodafone Rally de Portugal say they are happy with the way the event ran last weekend and the way spectator numbers were managed.

Having spent the last decade in the Algarve, this year’s gravel event moved to a new base in the north of Portugal with the host town being in Matoshinos, close to Porto.

To ensure the successful running of the event, the 400-strong organising team made it a priority to educate the local authorities on how the event should be run and addressed spectators about the importance of staying safe on the stages.

Mario Martins de Silva, Chairman of the rally organising committee, said: “We think it has gone better than we hoped it would. We still think there are areas to improve, in certain zones.

“We had to educate the authorities in the north as you cannot bring them from the south where they have more experience and we put a lot of effort into security.

“We spoke to spectators through press conferences and advertising, and every member of the organising team has been on TV to explain how important security is. This was important because we want the event to remain in the north and in the WRC.”

Organisers allocated 1900 police personnel to control traffic heading to the stages on the rally route and 500 marshals were assigned to control the increased number of spectators that the event was expected to bring after moving to the north.

“The public understood very well how to behave and I heard people discussing it among themselves,” Mario Martins de Silva explained. “We’re extremely grateful to all the spectators that took our message on board and helped to make this year’s new-look event a success.”

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