Tue 14 May 2024

Fantastic Fafe delivers yet again

The FIA World Rally Championship is blessed with some very special places. And Fafe is right up there with the best of them.

Every year you think you’ve seen it all. Every year it delivers more. Another surprise. Another memory. This year was no different. The stage goes live on Sunday morning, but try telling that to the people who pitch up and party from Wednesday. It’s a pilgrimage.

And when the first car flies over that final jump, just a few hundred meters before the finish, the place goes completely wild. The atmosphere and emotion is off-the-charts and it only gets more intense as the cars come through.

The smell of two-stroke from the collection of saw-less chainsaws wafts across the spectator area, mingling beautifully with aroma of barbecued sausage. It’s a special place. But so is Portugal.

Just walking into the service park, it’s impossible not to be taken by the wall-to-wall enthusiasm. The place is just jumping, with what seems like thousands of Dani Sordo fans walking around in Hyundai t-shirts, draped in Spanish flags.

The collection of cars is stunning, both full size and models and with the usual array of simulator fun to be had, the Exposer was the perfect family day out.

Walking back from the meet the crews session on Saturday night, Thierry Neuville had to smile as fan after fan sought selfie after selfie.

“The fans here,” grinned the Belgian, “they are amazing. So many.”

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