WRC returns to Portugal

Rally fans are in for a real treat in April. The Portuguese Vodafone Rally will once again be included in the World Rally Championship (WRC) circuit as the fourth round of its calendar, bringing the sport’s top drivers to the Algarve, Alentejo and Lisbon between April 3 and 6.
Sebastien Oiger (France/Volkswagen Motorsport), Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland/Volkswagen Motorsport), Mikko Hirvonen (Finland/M-Sport World Rally Team) and Mads Ostberg (Norway/Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT) are some of the main stars who will be showing off their driving skills and battling it out on the road for the title.
Oiger will be especially eager to defend his title of last year’s Portuguese rally champion.
The director of the rally, Pedro Almeida, has stressed that the key to the event’s success has been to keep the classic formula of the races untouched while gradually introducing new elements into each edition.
As an example, he highlighted the Lisbon WRC Super Special or the WRC Fafe Rally Sprint, which have been considered top-notch ‘appetisers’ for the main event.
And besides delighting the countless rally fans spread throughout Portugal, Almeida stressed the economic importance that this event brings to Portugal.
“The Portuguese Rally has been the sporting event that has generated the most returns since the Euro 2004,” he said, explaining that the total amount of money channelled into the country through the WRC reached €102 million in last year’s edition.
If you are hungry for some races, be sure to check the Portuguese Rally’s website (which includes an English version) for all the complete details, including schedules and spectator locations.
Nonetheless, the competition’s stages will be hitting Silves, Loulé, São Brás de Alportel and Malhão in the Algarve, as well as Ourique, Almodôvar, Santa Clara-a-Velha, and Santana da Serra in the Alentejo and Estoril and Lisbon, where the rally will kick off from.