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Thu 12 May 2022

Villas-Boas to drive World Rally Car in Portugal

Football coach André Villas-Boas will get behind the wheel of a World Rally Car next week at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (19 - 22 May).

Villas-Boas made his name as a formidable football manager who coached teams including Chelsea, FC Porto and, most recently, Olympique Marseille. 

The lifelong motorsport fan tackled the Dakar Rally in 2018 before turning his hand to rallying in 2021 to contest his home WRC round in a Citroën C3 Rally2 while raising awareness for his Race for Good charity initiative. 

Now, he’s back, albeit in a slightly more powerful machine. The car in question is Villas-Boas’ own ex-Esapekka Lappi Citroën C3 World Rally Car, purchased directly from PSA Group late last year. 

Villas-Boas will drive the car on a number of stages in demonstration runs as part of the celebrations for the WRC’s 50th season and at the same time raising funds and awareness for Race for Good.

"I like to collect cars with prestige," he told WRC.com. "I always wanted to own a rally car, so I started investigating. 

“At first, I was in limbo about which rally car to own. I have fortunately a good relationship with the PSA Group, and the first car that came up was actually a [Citroën] C4 from Loeb. 

"It was a great car with six wins, but it needed rebuilding. It was actually a car that had been around for a while was sold by Citroën and then was around a few drivers, so the 10 years of its life were very intense. 

"Then came the opportunity to buy the C3 from PSA and we managed to get into an agreement and finally I decided to buy it.

“It's one of the most incredible cars I've ever driven, if not the most incredible. We did a few laps in Lousada and then I took it for a ride in Vieira do Minho, and it really is something special."

Around 30 other legendary cars will chart the WRC’s history. They include an Alpine A110, the model which won the first WRC round at Rallye Monte-Carlo in the hands of Jean-Claude Andruet.

Also participating are fire-breathing Group B monsters including Audi Quattro S1, A1 and A2 models and a Lancia Delta S4. Other favourites include a Lancia Stratos, Ford Escort RS1800 and Opel Ascona 400, alongside the more recent Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i20.

Drivers including Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Marcus Gronhölm and Carlos Sainz will also be in attendance. 

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