After the cancellation in 2020, the Portuguese event scoring for the World Rally Championship will once again pass through the city of Porto on May 22nd, this time with a Super Special designed around the São João Baptista Fort, in Foz do Douro.
It is already next May that the thrills of Rally de Portugal are back on the roads in the north and in the centre of the country. The race organised by Automóvel Clube de Portugal will be the fourth stage scoring for the World Rally Championship (WRC), taking place between 20 and 23 May, with a layout very similar to what was planned for 2020, before its cancellation due to the pandemic.
The big news on the route is the move of the traditional Super Special, that usually takes place in Porto, to the Foz do Douro area, after two editions in the city centre, in 2016 and 2018.
Keeping the splendour of an urban qualifying stage, the route is now much more compact, making just over a kilometre between start and finish, located on Avenida de D. Carlos I, next to the access to Ourigo beach. Each race driver will make three laps of the route, which includes two areas for spins, two chicanes and one jump, making a total of 3.3 km timed.
Like in previous editions, Porto Special Stage’s programme will include a Sports Classic Cars event during the afternoon of May 22nd, in a kind of starter for the main event, which will bring together all the main protagonists of the World Rally Championship, but also the best Portuguese race drivers. The first competitor is scheduled to start at 7:03 pm.
Although it is planned to set up grandstands at some sites along the route, the presence of audiences naturally depends on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic and on a favourable opinion by Direção-Geral da Saúde (health authority). What is certain, is for now, it will not be any spectators’ open areas due to safety reasons. In any case, the event will be televised live by RTP and can be watched in more than 160 countries.