Wednesday | 16 Apr 2014

Portugal decision due in June

Rally de Portugal organisers expect to know by the beginning of June whether the event will move north from its Algarve base.

Officials are this week meeting authorities in the northern half of the country to investigate the level of interest in hosting the event and ascertain if there is sufficient financial support to return it to its traditional homeland.

The rally ran in the north until torrential rain marred the 2001 event. It was dropped from the calendar and did not return until 2007, since when it has been based on the south-coast Algarve holiday area.

However, the sport’s fanbase is in the north and organiser Automóvel Club de Portugal investigated moving the 2014 event before finally deciding to stay in the south.

An Automóvel Club de Portugal spokesman said: “It should be possible to have a final decision at the start of June.”

It is understood a return to the city of Porto has been ruled out but organisers are looking at locations north of Lisbon. A base in that area would mean classic stages such as Fafe and Arganil could return to the WRC.