Monchique played host to the Campeonato Regional de Ralis do Sul Rally Championship recently and, with 50 teams taking part, the event proved to be an exciting test. The heavy rains that had fallen in the week before the event had concerned team engineers, particularly in choice of tyres. However, bright weather on the day reassured the technicians.
The 11.57km first race to Marmelete saw João Pinto victorious in his Renault 11 turbo, followed by José Neves 4.5 seconds later in a Ford Escort Cosworth, and Jorge Brito in his Mitsubishi Galant in third place, 6.3 seconds later. Rain fell during the second leg to Fornalha, favouring José Neves’ 4X4, but João Pinto maintained his lead by 1.1 seconds. The second race around Marmelete saw Neves consolidate his lead, with João Pinto in second and Eduardo Valente in third position.
Numerous drivers were forced to pull out of the race, including José Coelho, who crashed his Mitsubishi Lancer, and central region champion, José Vidal Neves, who was forced to retire with engine problems.