Taking place across 19 stages that encompass a total distance of 349.17km, Rally Portugal serves as the second of five consecutive gravel tests for the crews.
Based out of the service park Matosinhos, the rally’s action kicks off on Thursday with a Super Special Stage at the Lousada rallycross circuit.
The first full day sees crews head north and towards the Spanish border for runs of the reconfigured stages around Viana do Castelo and culminates with two tests in Braga’s historic streets.
Saturday will be the longest leg of the rally at 154.56km, as the driver teams journey east to tackle the demanding roads of the Cabreira Mountains.
Sunday is all about Fafe, with its famously large jump and even larger crowds. All four final stages are in the municipality, including a double pass over the legendary jump itself.
— WRC (@OfficialWRC) 17 May 2017
Rally Portugal, first held in 1967, was one of the founding events in the inaugural 1973 World Rally Championship. Contested across sandy passes as well as hazardous rocky tracks, teams and crews will be challenged with selecting the best tyres while adapting ride heights as stages become increasingly rutted.
The twice-run street stage in Porto has been moved to Braga for 2017, taking place on Friday evening. In addition, three brand new stages have been added to the schedule, with a double assault through Cabaceiras de Basto on Saturday and single runs through Luihas and Montim on Sunday.
- Full of drama and history, Rally Portugal will once again run in the north of the country in 2017 on challenging gravel roads. Many of the stages used in the 50th running of the event last year are the same although there are some new additions.
- The action once again starts at Guimarães, Portugal’s oldest city. On Thursday evening there’s a superspecial stage at the Lousada rallycross circuit.
- On Friday, the event takes in reconfigured stages around Viana do Castelo, near the Spanish border, including a new 1.90km street stage in Braga to round off the day’s competition. Most of Saturday’s action is held on testing gravel roads in the Cabreira Mountains, with a double run through new stage, Cabeceiras de Basto. On Sunday, the rally is once more based around the famous Fafe test – renowned for its huge jumps and even bigger crowds – with new stages at Luilhas and Montim.
Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) ran the first TAP Rally in 1967, which then became round three of the first World Rally Championship in 1973
- The TAP Rally and later Rally de Portugal have been named ‘Best Rally in the World’ five times. Originally run as a mixed surface event, it is now based primarily on gravel. Finn Markku Alén has won the rally five times.
- Crowd control issues challenged the Rally de Portugal organisers in the past. But it was heavy rain in 2001 that resulted in the event being dropped from the WRC calendar in favour of Rallye Deutschland for 2002. Rally de Portugal made a welcome return as a WRC fixture in 2007 with the action based south in the warmer (and drier) Algarve region. It then returned to the north of the country for the first time in 14 years in 2015.
- Portuguese crew Carpinteiro Albino/Silva Pereira in a Renault 8 Gordini won the first TAP Rally, while Jean-Luc Thérier/Jacques Jaubert in an Alpine Renault took victory in the first event to count as a WRC round.
|2016||Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle||Citroën DS3 WRC|
|2015||Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila||Volkswagen Polo R WRC|
|2014||Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia||Volkswagen Polo R WRC|
|2013||Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia||Volkswagen Polo R WRC|
|2012||Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson||Ford Fiesta RS WRC|
Rally Portugal schedule (+1 GMT)
Thursday 18 May
7.30am: Shakedown (Paredes)
6.10pm: Start (Guimaraes)
7.03pm: SS1 – Lousada (3.36km)
8.00pm: Parc ferme (Exponor)
Friday 19 May
8.40am: Service A (Exponor – 19 min)
10.09am: SS2 – Viana do Castelo 1 (26.70km)
11.06am: SS3 – Caminha 1 (18.10km)
11.46am: SS4 – Ponte de Lima 1 (27.46km)
2.25pm: Service B (Exponor – 34 mins)
4.09pm: SS5 – Viana do Castelo 2 (26.70km)
5.06pm: SS6 – Caminha 2 (18.10km)
5.46pm: SS7 – Ponte de Lima 2 (27.46km)
7.03pm: SS8 – Braga Street Stage 1 (1.90km)
7.28pm: SS9 – Braga Street Stage 2 (1.90km)
8.40pm: Service C (Exponor – 49 mins)
Saturday 20 May
7.15am: Service D (Exponor – 19 mins)
9.08am: SS10 – Vieira do Minho 1 (17.43km)
9.46am: SS11 – Cabeceiras de Basto 1 (22.30km)
11.04am: SS12 – Amarante 1 (37.55km)
1.00pm: Service E (Exponor – 34 mins)
3.08pm: SS13 – Vieira do Minho 2 (17.43km)
3.46pm: SS14 – Cabeceiras de Basto 2 (22.30km)
5.04pm: SS15 – Amarante 2 (37.55km)
6.55pm: Service F (Exponor – 49 mins)
Sunday 21 May
7.35am: Service G (Exponor – 19 mins)
9.08am: SS16 – Fafe 1 (11.18km)
9.30am: SS17 – Luilhas (11.91km)
10.20am: SS18 – Montim (8.66km)
12.18pm: SS19 – Power Stage Fafe 2 (11.18km)
1.50pm: Service H (Exponor – 14 mins)