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Portugal - 17-20 May 18

Posted: May 18, 2018 3:30 PM - 2042 Hits

Round 6 - 2018 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Portugal 2018) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally de Portugal

First stage each day (Portugal is in the same time zone as Ireland/UK)
Shakedown - Thu - 07:30
SS1 Thu - 19:03
SS2 Fri - 09:15
SS10 Sat - 09:08
SS16 Sun - 08:35

Portugal Awaits As Devine Continues World Championship Dream

Posted: May 17, 2018 8:55 AM

Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, Callum Devine, starts the 3rd round of his Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) campaign this weekend at Rally Portugal. Devine currently lies 5th in the championship race after the opening 2 rounds in Sweden and Corsica and is hopeful of building on those performances on the Iberian Peninsula over the coming weekend.

Callum’s preparation for the event was dealt a blow a few weeks ago when a planned test session on the Pirelli Rally in England was cut short with engine problems. The goal of the test was to gain more loose surface experience as Portugal is the first gravel round of the championship, although this hasn’t altered Callum’s mind-set. “In many ways, nothing has changed. Gravel isn’t my strongest surface, although I do enjoy driving on it. It was a shame our test was cut short but these things happen.” Callum, who turned 24 last week continued; “I’ve learned an awful lot from the opening JWRC rounds and I have no doubt Portugal will be the same. Running down the field, you really have to try and keep out of trouble here and watch out for rocks pulled out by the guys in front. You only have to look at previous JWRC events in Portugal to see what can happen. If I can leave here holding my place in the championship and having closed the gap to the guys in front, I’ll be very happy.”

Rally Portugal will also see a change of co-driver of Callum with Brian Hoy stepping in to the passenger seat in place of Keith Moriarty. Speaking on the change of co-driver Callum said; “Keith has a young family and it just doesn’t suit for him to do WRC events with the time away that is involved. Keith has helped me come on leaps and bounds as a driver over the last few seasons and I’ve no doubt we’ll pair up again in the future. I want to thank him for his dedication because without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Brian Hoy will join me for the remaining JWRC rounds. Brian has co-driven for me previously, we know each other well and I have full faith in his ability at this level.”

Rally Portugal begins with a short super special stage this evening (Thursday) at the Lousada Rallycross track before the rally proper gets underway on Friday morning. Friday consists of 8 tests with the final 2 stages of the day being short blasts around the streets of Porto for a brace of spectator stages. Saturday is the longest leg of the rally with 6 tests totalling 154km of competitive driving while 5 stages await on Sunday, including the iconic Fafe stage which will draw in over 50,000 spectators alone.

The 2018 JWRC is run in association with M-Sport and each competing crew uses identical Ford Fiesta R2T cars. Points are awarded for overall places as well as for each individual stage win. The remaining pair of JWRC rounds will be Finland and Turkey, both gravel events, with Turkey being of particular interest as double points will be on offer. The prize at the end of the season will be an R5 Ford Fiesta along with support to tackle WRC2 rounds in 2019.

To keep up to date with Callum throughout 2018 and beyond be sure to check out www.callumdevine.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Callum’s season in the JWRC is supported by Motorsport Ireland, Sport Ireland, the Team Ireland Foundation, Fyth and Premier Car Parts.

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Portugal

Posted: May 17, 2018 8:48 AM

Hyundai Motorsport will field a four-car entry into next weekend’s Rally de Portugal, the sixth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), and second in a run of four consecutive gravel rallies.

Currently leading the manufacturers’ championship with a 15-point advantage over M-Sport Ford, the team will be aiming to continue its competitive start to the season with another fight for the podium positions.

Hayden Paddon returns for his first WRC event since finishing fifth in Rally Sweden back in February, joining Andreas Mikkelsen, Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. All four crews have had the opportunity to test prior to the rally, which promises to be another closely fought battle among the WRC manufacturer teams.

In accordance with WRC regulations, only three crews will be eligible for championship points for the Hyundai Motorsport team, with the two highest finishers per team scoring. The team has already named Mikkelsen, Neuville and Paddon, with Sordo taking control of the fourth car.

Rally de Portugal consists of 20 special stages over four days of action, a total distance of 358km, following an itinerary almost identical to last year, when Hyundai Motorsport secured a double podium finish. The schedule builds towards an exhilarating Power Stage on Sunday morning, the famous Fafe test that offers an electric atmosphere and a thrilling finale to a tricky rally.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented:
“Portugal is set to be our busiest rally of the season in terms of car and team operations. Running four Hyundai i20 Coupe WRCs will require us to be extra focused and diligent. There is no room for error, as we target another strong all-round team performance. We welcome Hayden and Seb back into the team, and are confident that they will make their presence felt on the standings from the outset. All four crews have tested ahead of the event in order to be as prepared as we can for another close battle.”

In addition to its four WRC cars, Hyundai Motorsport will also have WRC2 representation from its HMDP crew Jari Huttunen and Antti Linnaketo. The Finnish duo will be taking part in their third event of the season after Rally Sweden and Rally Mexico, in which they showed encouraging pace and performance. They have carried out testing in Portugal to acclimatise to the conditions and the car, so they can hit the ground running next week.

Michel Nandan added: “We have been satisfied with how Jari and Antti approached their first two rallies of the year in Sweden and Mexico. They were two very contrasting events and Portugal will offer a new learning experience for the pair. The first objective is for them to finish the rally, and to gain a full experience of the Portuguese round of the Championship in their Hyundai i20 R5, but then to show some speed against the more established names in WRC2. They are well used to gravel rallies, so we have high hopes for them.”

WRC Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Best finish in Rally de Portugal second in 2016
Fourth in drivers’ championship after fifth place finish in Argentina

Mikkelsen said: “We head back to Europe following a pretty positive weekend for the team in Argentina. I have good experience at Rally de Portugal with a best result of second place a couple of years ago. I didn’t take part last season so I am looking forward to putting my i20 Coupe WRC through its paces on the gravel stages. It can be quite rough with high grip in places. It's an event I enjoy and we'll be looking to put our recent gravel experiences to good use."

WRC Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Second in Argentina closed gap to Ogier in drivers’ championship
Finished runner-up in last year’s Rally de Portugal

Neuville said: “This rally will be a big weekend for all of us at Hyundai Motorsport. Not only are we entering four cars, but we are also determined to continue the form we showed in Argentina. Portugal is a great event with a lot of supportive fans and some nice stages. It offers us some unique challenges with varying grip levels on the stages. We saw at the last rally that our rivals are very strong but this gives us added motivation to improve ourselves and do all we can to fight at the front.”

WRC Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Second WRC event of 2018 season after Sweden
Starts run of three consecutive gravel events in #6 car

Paddon said: “I have spent the time since our last WRC event doing some rallies in New Zealand and training hard. It will be challenging having not driven the WRC car for three months but Seb and myself are ready to give it our best shot. The Portuguese stages require a lot of commitment and the grip levels can be quite changeable, depending on the weather. As everyone knows the rally quite well, only with perfect preparation and pace notes will we be competitive.”

WRC Crew Notes: Sordo/Del Barrio (#16 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Podium in Argentina marked second gravel top-three of season
Finished third in Rally de Portugal in 2017

Sordo said: “Rally de Portugal is a special event for me, being situated so close to Spain. Many supporters make the short trip to show their support, and it makes for a fantastic atmosphere. Of course, the Fafe jump is a highlight of the weekend but there are many other enjoyable stages to tackle over the weekend. We have four cars for this event, which will make our service area very busy, but it will be fun to drive alongside the other crews.”

HMDP Crew Notes: Huttunen/Linnaketo (#35 Hyundai i20 R5)
Two sixth-placed finishes in Sweden and Mexico
First participation in Rally de Portugal for WRC2

Huttunen said: “I have rallied in the country before in the Azores rally but this will be my first time at Rally de Portugal in WRC2. We have used the time since Mexico wisely, to prepare ourselves for our third event of the season, and we have recently carried out testing to get ready. The experiences in Sweden and Mexico were valuable but I know we can get more out of ourselves and the i20 R5. We will take each stage as it comes, as our immediate objective is to complete the rally, but we also want to take the fight to the leading guys and show our pace.”

Bite-size Portugal
20 special gravel stages contested over a 358.19km competitive distance.
Event gets underway on Thursday evening with a super special at the Lousada rallycross circuit
A full day of action on Friday ends with new-look street stages in Porto
Saturday, the longest day of the rally with 154km of stages, consists of a repeat loop of the 17.50km Vieira do Minho, 22.22km Cabeceiras de Basto and 37.60km Amarante tests, the latter being the longest individual stage of the rally
Sunday’s schedule revolves around the legendary Fafe jump, with a spectacular Power Stage in front of thousands of fans.

TOYOTA out to continue its momentum in Portugal

Posted: May 17, 2018 8:46 AM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team will take on Rally Portugal from May 17-20 with the aim of continuing the momentum gathered with its recent victory in Argentina. Ott Tänak - who in South America claimed his first win since joining the team - Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala all head to Portugal confident in the progress that has been made with the development of the Toyota Yaris WRC, as demonstrated in Argentina.

Rally Portugal is based in the north of the country, with the service park situated in Matosinhos near the city of Porto. The event takes place over technical roads with a soft and sandy gravel surface. Grip can be hard to find for the drivers running first on the road on the opening pass of each stage, while deep ruts and exposed rocks can add to the challenge on the second pass.

The rally will get underway on Thursday evening with a ceremonial start at Guimarães Castle followed by a super special stage on the Lousada rallycross circuit. On Friday there will be two loops of three stages in the north - near the border with Spain - before two runs of a Porto street stage to close the day. Saturday’s action is focused on the Cabreira Mountains, before the rally comes to a conclusion on Sunday with five stages in the Fafe region, including the iconic Fafe test itself as the Power Stage.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Following our victory in Argentina, I think the confidence is pretty high in the team at the moment and we are very much looking forward to Rally Portugal. It sounds like we had a good pre-event test last week and that everything went well there. I am feeling really confident that we can have another strong performance in Portugal, because the conditions there are very similar to Argentina. I won twice in Portugal during my career and I would say that it is a slightly easier rally, or at least it is not quite so tricky, mostly because it is not so rocky. You don’t have to be quite as accurate with the driving as in Argentina. They are both fast rallies, but in Portugal I would say there is a bit more room to play with. Therefore, normally it should be not as challenging, but of course it is always challenging when you are trying to fight for the win. Still, I am sure we can have another good rally.”

Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“Even though my rally ended early, there were positives to take from Argentina: the car felt really, really good and the speed was also good for me before my retirement. This gives me great confidence going to Rally Portugal. I believe our car will be strong again in Portugal. It is quite a similar rally to Argentina, with the main differences being that the surface is smoother and the roads are a bit more flowing. Therefore, I see no reason why the car shouldn’t work well in Portugal. We had two days of pre-event testing there last week and I am really happy with how that went. I had our test driver Juho Hänninen with me during the test: we were working together to fine-tune the car and I am really pleased with how the car feels.”

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“We certainly go to Portugal with a good feeling. We obviously know just how well the car can perform. Everything felt good too in our pre-event test last week, where we were just trying to find some more improvements and even better performance. Portugal has always been one of my favourite events. It’s always really nice to go there: there is a great atmosphere. It is also the place where everything started for me in the WRC in 2009. Our aim is to perform as well as in Argentina, but let’s see how it goes. I think Friday will be critical with our road position: we have two cars in front of us so we will have some lines to follow, but normally the cleaning has more of an effect in Portugal. It is important to get another strong result for the championship: we closed the gap a bit in Argentina and now we aim to do the same in Portugal.”

Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm
Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“Portugal is where I started to compete in a World Rally Car last year, so I think that everything should be a little bit easier from this point onwards. In the first part of the season there were ups and downs, but I was pretty surprised with how good the speed was on some events. There were many positives and we just need to try to learn from the negative moments and be better in the second half of the year. It is going to help to have already done the upcoming rallies with this car. That is especially true for Portugal as it will be basically the same roads as last year. Argentina was already good from a car setup point of view, but I think we still made a small step forward on the pre-event test. I am pretty confident this time to start to push from the first stage: the approach will be different to Argentina.”

FIA JUNIOR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP RALLY DE PORTUGAL, PREVIEW

Posted: May 17, 2018 8:40 AM

Having tackled snow and asphalt, the FIA Junior World Rally Championship crews will have another new experience next week as they take on the gravel stages of Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

Equipped with identical one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2s prepared by M-Sport Poland and fitted with Pirelli’s SCORPION tyres, the rival crews will have to master the art of loose-surface rallying.

At Rally Sweden, the series witnessed the battle of the Swedes. At the Tour de Corse, it was the battle of the Frenchmen. In Portugal, the jury is out and a number of crews all have their sights firmly fixed on victory.

Thanks to his maiden win in Sweden and an improved display on asphalt, Dennis Rådström continues to lead the championship with a slender one-point advantage over Tour de Corse winner Jean-Baptiste Franceschi. Both drivers are accustomed to gravel and keen to secure a strong result for the championship this week.

But they’ll have to keep one eye behind as well as ahead – Emil Bergkvist and Terry Folb not far away and both more than capable of securing a strong result on gravel. Both Bergkvist and Folb will have new co-drivers for this week’s event – and will be hoping to seal their new partnerships with the taste of champagne.

With creditable results on snow and asphalt, Callum Devine will be looking to hone his loose-surface skills, whilst Julius Tannert is eager to reignite his championship hopes – using his experience of other gravel rallies to challenge for the top results.

More accustomed to competing on gravel, Ken Torn, Enrico Fernandez and David Holder will all be looking to make their mark on the championship, whilst Bugra Banaz and Tom Williams will also be keen to put their past gravel experience to good use.

Having started his rallying career in the United Kingdom, Umberto Accornero will be looking to use his past gravel experience to full effect, as will Luca Bottarelli who has some knowledge of gravel rallying back home in Italy.

It’s been a season of firsts for Enrico Oldrati who had contested just one rally before making his international debut in Sweden. But the Italian has proved a quick learner and will be keen for more of the same when he experiences gravel rallying for the first time in Portugal.

FIA Junior World Rally Championship Manager, Maciej Woda, said:
“Perhaps unsurprisingly we had home victories in Sweden and Corsica, but this one really is anyone’s for the taking. There’ll be no home advantage and I’m looking forward to seeing who best handles the challenge.

“Competing on gravel for the first time this season, we could see some new names top the time sheets and it’s a chance for those more accustomed to this surface to prove their potential.

“With the Fiesta R2 and Pirelli’s SCORPION tyres, our crews have everything they need to succeed. We’ve seen some extremely close-fought competition already, and I’m looking forward to seeing who will be challenging for the top results this week.”

Callum Devine said:
“Gravel isn’t my strongest surface, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve only contested a handful of gravel events in my career, but I hope to get on the pace as soon as possible and find my feet amongst the other competitors. The plan is to stay clear of trouble, and hopefully that will bring us a good result at the end of the rally.”

Entry List

Posted: May 7, 2018 4:27 PM

Rally Guide / Details / Website

Posted: January 20, 2018 2:03 PM

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