Wed 10 May 2023

The magic of Rally de Portugal

If Finland is rallying’s spiritual home, can we agree Portugal is its spiritual holiday home?

Portugal. Just saying the word conjures fantastic images of Toyotas thundering down the Arganil roads or Markku Alén castigating the Fafe fog for getting in his way.

Talking of Fafe, if you’re vaguely within driving distance of the place (ie you’re not on another continent) then I implore you to get there in time for Sunday morning. Set out now. You’ll make it. It’ll be worth it.

It’s an absolute sight to behold as a Rally1 flies into view, the windmills clearly visible beneath it (for the sake of context – we were standing a long way back, we’re not suggesting the rally cars were actually clearing the big blades!), with the noise of the car drowned out by the anticipation and atmosphere of what’s going on around you.

And that’s just Sunday. The aforementioned Arganil, the place in the hills with so many secrets of the past, is just as relevant today. On Friday, another chapter will be written into its sensationally storied WRC past.

The roads are immense, the people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world and the fish almost leaps from the Atlantic to the your table via one of the best-smelling grills in the history of time.

And the best news? It’s going to be sunny. Or that’s what it says here. Sorry Elfyn, this isn’t the best news for you, but rain’s not pictured as the WRC winds itself up for an epic place to start the gravel season.

Portugal, Matosinhos, let’s go!

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM