Rallye de Portugal in the World Rally Championship

Rallye de Portugal
PT Portugal
Since 1967
WRC since 1973 (7th edition)

The Rally of Portugal is a rally event held annually in Portugal since 1967 and run by the Automobile Club of Portugal.
It entered the World Championship calendar in 1973, being the sixth edition of the rally and the third round of that year.
It remained on the World Championship calendar uninterruptedly for 29 years, except in 1996 when it was only scored for the 2-litre championship, and in 2002 it was dropped from the calendar. In 2007 it returned to the World Championship, and the following year it dropped out again to enter the IRC calendar, but in 2009 it returned again to the World Championship calendar.

Initially the event was held in the town of Estoril, near Lisbon, and the first stage of the rally was usually run on the tarmac roads of the Sintra mountain range, very close to the Portuguese capital.
One of the most notable stages was the Lagoa Azul stage, which was run on a complicated and slippery road flanked on both sides by a human wall of spectators. The second stage of the rally was held in the centre of the country, in the town of Arganil, east of Coimbra.
One of the stages in the area was known as the "green hell", a complicated section of more than 40 km, muddy, winding, very winding, foggy, and with heavy, fine rain. This special stage has always been one of the judges of the rally and on many occasions great battles took place, such as the one between Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén in 1980, both official Fiat drivers, who arrived with very little difference and where the German Röhrl managed to get more than four minutes between the two passes, achieving victory and setting the course for the world title that he would win that year.

Throughout its history, and especially since its inclusion in the world championship, the rally has changed its route enormously. In its early days, the rally was very long and had a rally route, like the Monte Carlo, and crossed the country from south to north and from north to south, not only passing through the Alentejo and the Algarve (the two southernmost regions of the country). Once in Estoril, the teams were faced with a route of between 1,500 and 2,000 km, of which some 400 km were against the clock.
From 1974 onwards, the rally's rally route was abolished, but the mileage remained at around 2,400 km, although the length of the timed stages was increased, always to over 600 km. In 1987, the total mileage was cut back to 2,000 km and in 1997 the rally had to comply with FIA regulations which obliged all World Cup events to reduce the mileage of the timed stages to a maximum of 400 km and to be run on a single surface only. The organisers focused the race in the north, with Povoa as the epicentre, and eliminated the tarmac sections, including those in Sintra, which had caused so many problems in the past.
In 2005 it was moved to the Algarve area in the south of the country, and in 2007, with its incorporation into the world championship, a super special stage was included in the Algarve Stadium.

The driver with the most rally victories is Finland's Markku Alén, who has won the competition five times. He is followed by Sébastien Ogier and then Hannu Mikkola, Miki Biasion and Armindo Araújo with three victories each.
Since the first edition, only five local drivers have won the event: Carpinteiro Albino (1967), Francisco Romãozinho (1969), Joaquim Moutinho (1986), Rui Madeira (1996) and Armindo Araújo (2003, 2004 and 2006).

Seasons in World Rally Championship

1973 Jean-Luc Therier    Tue 13th - Sun 18th Mar 
1974 Raffaele Pinto    Wed 20th - Sat 23rd Mar 
1975 Markku Alen    Fri 18th - Mon 21st Jul 
1976 Sandro Munari    Wed 10th - Sun 14th Mar 
1977 Markku Alen    Tue 1st - Sun 6th Mar 
1978 Markku Alen    Wed 19th - Sun 23rd Apr 
1979 Hannu Mikkola    Tue 6th - Sun 11th Mar 
1980 Walter Rohrl    Tue 4th - Sun 9th Mar 
1981 Markku Alen    Wed 4th - Sat 7th Mar 
1982 Michele Mouton    Wed 3rd - Sat 6th Mar 
1983 Hannu Mikkola    Wed 2nd - Sat 5th Mar 
1984 Hannu Mikkola    Wed 7th - Sat 10th Mar 
1985 Timo Salonen    Wed 6th - Sat 9th Mar 
1986 Joaquim Moutinho    Wed 5th - Sat 8th Mar 
1987 Markku Alen    Wed 11th - Sat 14th Mar 
1988 Massimo Biasion    Tue 1st - Sat 5th Mar 
1989 Massimo Biasion    Tue 28th Feb - Sat 4th Mar 
1990 Massimo Biasion    Tue 6th - Sat 10th Mar 
1991 Carlos Sainz    Tue 5th - Sat 9th Mar 
1992 Juha Kankkunen    Tue 3rd - Sat 7th Mar 
1993 François Delecour    Wed 3rd - Sat 6th Mar 
1994 Juha Kankkunen    Tue 1st - Fri 4th Mar 
1995 Carlos Sainz    Wed 8th - Fri 10th Mar 
... 1 year discontinued ...
1997 Tommi Makinen    Sat 22nd - Wed 26th Mar 
1998 Colin McRae    Sun 22nd - Wed 25th Mar 
1999 Colin McRae    Sun 21st - Wed 24th Mar 
2000 Richard Burns    Thu 16th - Sun 19th Mar 
2001 Tommi Makinen    Thu 8th - Sun 11th Mar 
... 5 years discontinued ...
2007 Sebastien Loeb    Fri 30th Mar - Sun 1st Apr 
... 1 year discontinued ...
2009 Sebastien Loeb    Thu 2nd - Sun 5th Apr 
2010 Sebastien Ogier    Wed 26th - Sun 30th May 
2011 Sebastien Ogier    Thu 24th - Sun 27th Mar 
2012 Mads Østberg    Thu 29th Mar - Sun 1st Apr 
2013 Sebastien Ogier    Fri 12th - Sun 14th Apr 
2014 Sebastien Ogier    Thu 3rd - Sun 6th Apr 
2015 Jari-Matti Latvala    Thu 21st - Sun 24th May 
2016 Kris Meeke    Thu 19th - Sun 22nd May 
2017 Sebastien Ogier   Thu 18th - Sun 21st May
2018 Thierry Neuville   Thu 17th - Sun 20th May
2019 Ott Tanak   Fri 31st May - Sun 2nd Jun
2020 Cancelled Coronavirus pandemia.
2021 Elfyn Evans   Thu 20th - Sun 23rd May
2022 Kalle Rovanperä   Thu 19th - Sun 22nd May
2023 Kalle Rovanpera   Thu 11th - Sun 14th May
2024 Thu 09th - Sun 12th May