WRC Rally de Portugal

The WRC Rally de Portugal is one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the WRC calendar. Rally de Portugal was a founding event of the first WRC season in 1973. Over the following decades, it’s become one of the most significant motorsport events in the country. Challenging gravel stages provide plenty of thrills for drivers and fans alike. The event has received many awards and returns to the WRC calendar for the 56th event this season.

Race Information

The race is over.
Be sure to check the current WRC standings.
  • Course: Start in Lousã, Coimbra District and finish in Fafe, Braga District
  • Date:  May 11-14
  • Stages: 19
  • Distance: 204.47 miles (329.06 kilometers)

Circuit Information

WRC Rally de Portugal.

The WRC Rally de Portugal is a 19-stage rally held over four days and based in Matosinhos in northern Portugal. It’s a pure gravel rally known for sharp rocks throughout the event. Teams often have to run cars higher to avoid potential damage. The iconic Fafe jump before the event finish is a fan favorite. 

Kalle Rovanperä of Finland won the 2022 Rally de Portugal during his championship season.

2023 WRC Vodafone Rally- Stages
SDEvans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally12:53.4
SS1Loubet / GilsoulFord Puma Rally19:02.7
SS2Tänak / JärveojaFord Puma Rally112:59.3
SS3 Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally111:49.3
SS4Lappi / FermHyundai i20 N Rally18:56.3
SS5Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally113:03.9
SS6Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally111:53.8
SS7Lappi / FermHyundai i20 N Rally111:56.7
SS8Sordo / CarreraHyundai i20 N Rally12:29.8
SS9Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally116:50.6
SS10Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally124:33.3
SS11Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally15:57.3
SS12Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally116:54.1
SS13Sordo / CarreraHyundai i20 N Rally124:31.2
SS14Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally15:57.3
SS15Sordo / CarreraHyundai i20 N Rally12:34.5
SS16Katsuta / JohnstonToyota GR Yaris Rally18:02.9
SS17Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally16:42.1
SS18Tänak / JärveojaFord Puma Rally113:48.5
SS19Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally16:26.5

WRC Rally de Portugal- Stages


History of Rally de Portugal

Rally de Portugal was included in the inaugural 1973 World Rally Championship but held its first unofficial event in 1967. Portuguese driver Carpinteiro Albino won the eight-stage, 47-kilometer (29-mile) event in a Renault 8 Gordini. The events leading up to the WRC debut had a different winner each year. In 1968, British driver Tony Fall won in a Lancia Fulvia HF. The 1969 event saw Portuguese racer Francisco Romãozinho win in a Citroën DS. In 1970, Finnish driver Simo Lampinen won in a Lancia Fulvia HF. Frenchman Jean-Pierre Nicolas won in 1971 in an Alpine Renault A110. German driver Achim Warmbold won the final non-WRC event in 1972 behind the wheel of a BMW 2002 TI.

Frenchman Jean-Luc Thérier won the first WRC event in 1973 in an Alpine Renault A110 1800. The mixed-surface event was the third event on the calendar that season. Finnish champion Markku Alén excelled in the 1970s driving Fiats. He took victories in 1975, 1977, and 1978 and podiumed in 1974. He would later tally wins in 1981 and 1987.

In the event’s early years, Rally de Portugal was known for its fans, who crowded the roadway even as drivers sped by. This came to a head in 1986. Finnish driver Timo Salonen, 1985 champion and driving for Peugeot at the time, hit a cameraman during a Wednesday morning stage.

Joaquim Santos, racing in his home country behind the wheel of a Ford RS200, started the stage later and overcorrected to avoid hitting a spectator in a fast corner. He lost control of his car and went into the nearby crowd, killing three people and injuring 32 more. Eleven more cars ran through the stage before emergency crews came. The WRC teams withdrew from the remainder of the rally. It was part of why Group B cars of the decade were dropped following the 1986 season.

The following year, local driver Joaquim Guedes entered the event and hit spectators. No one was seriously hurt, but it would be until the 1990s for organizers to get the crowd under control.

The 2001 event was marked by weather so bad the event was dropped in 2002 for Rallye Deutschland. Organizers changed the characteristics of the stages to be purely gravel instead of mixed surfaces. After a few years off the calendar, the new course was added to the 2007 WRC calendar.

Fans noted the new course didn’t have the same appeal as the historic route in northern Portugal. Organizers returned to that area in 2015, where the rally continues today. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic but has been a part of the WRC calendar every year after that.

Alén and eight-time WRC champion Sébastien Ogier are tied with five event wins each. The event has won the award for Best WRC Rally in the World five times and Most Improved Rally in 2000.

2022 WRC Vodafone Rally- Stages
SDEvans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally12:56.1
SS1Neuville / WydaegheHyundai i20 N Rally12:37.9
SS2Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally18:58.9
SS3 Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally113:12.7
SS4Loeb / GalmicheFord Puma Rally111:48.0
SS5Ogier / VeillasToyota GR Yaris Rally18:58.7
SS6Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally113:12.6
SS7Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally111:51.6
SS8Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally112:01.7
SS9Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally12:37.7
SS10Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally113:37.9
SS11Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally113:26.8
SS12Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally125:02.3
SS13Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally113:36.9
SS14Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally113:28.6
SS15Neuville / WydaegheHyundai i20 N Rally124:42.2
SS16Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally13:28.7
SS17Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally15:57.0
SS18Tänak / JärveojaHyundai i20 N Rally15:34.3
SS19Tänak / JärveojaHyundai i20 N Rally16:32.3
SS20Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally15:54.7
SS21Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally16:28.2

WRC Rally de Portugal FAQs

When was the first Rally de Portugal held?

The first edition was in 1967 but the first WRC event was held in 1973.

Why is the 1986 Rally de Portugal famous?

The 1986 Rally de Portugal saw three spectators and dozens of others injured in a series of crashes.

When did Rally de Portugal move to its current location?

Rally de Portugal moved back north to its historic area starting in 2015.
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