- Hugely popular event on technical and tricky gravel roads based around Matosinhos, near Porto, in the north of the country.
- Thursday afternoon start at picturesque Guimarães Castle is followed by big power slides for the crowds at Lousada rallycross circuit.
- The first full day heads north for reconfigured stages around Viano do Castelo, near the Spanish border. It ends with two tests in Braga’s historic streets.
- Saturday is the longest leg, journeying east to demanding roads in the Cabreira Mountains and including a brand new stage.
- Sunday is all about Fafe and its enormous crowds. All four stages are in the municipality, including a double pass over the legendary test itself.
- Sandy roads ensure grip is at a premium for the early starters during the first pass through the stages.
- Rocks and deep ruts present an altogether different hazard for the second pass, often requiring teams to raise the ride height on their cars to avoid mechanical damage.
- ENTRY LIST
- HIGHLIGHTS 2016
- Gravel suspension.
- Hard or soft? That’s the big tyre question for drivers searching for the best grip on the soft tracks, whilst also trying to manage the wear over a group of stages.
- First held in 1967 and one of the founding events in the inaugural 1973 WRC.
- Initially a mixed surface rally, it switched to a pure gravel format but lost its place in the calendar after bad weather ruined the 2001 event.
- Organisers moved from the north to the Algarve holiday region in the south and it regained its place in 2007.
- Moved back to the north in 2015.
- Named ‘Best Rally in the World’ on five occasions.
What’s new for 2017
- Double fun over a fresh 1.90km street stage in the centre of Braga, which competitors drive twice at the end of Friday. Replaces last year’s similar test in Porto.
- Three new stage venues – a double run through Cabeceiras de Basto on Saturday and single passes through Luilhas and Montim on Sunday.
- A visit to Fafe. Head to the big jump or the hillsides overlooking the sweeping bends that precede it and soak up the atmosphere alongside tens of thousands of fans.
- Remember to take a look at Jari-Matti Latvala’s dramatic 2009 crash when he rolled a Ford Focus RS WRC 17 times down a hillside. See it again at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrRNxB3i9rg
You can see more abou this event in: http://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/calendar/portugal-2017/page/695--695-682-.html