Rally Portugal 2019 preview

From victory at the Rally Sørland in Norway, it’s time for the first proper WRC event on gravel for Ole Christian Veiby in the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. – I’m very much looking forward to this, says the Norwegian. 

May 29, 2019

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Rally Portugal will be the first WRC-event on gravel with the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 for Ole Christian and his co-driver Jonas Andersson. But with a couple of test-days and victory from Rally Sørland, they feel ready and prepared for the Portuguese gravel. – We have been able to test a little bit on gravel and of course we did the rally in Norway as a preparation. To come to Portugal with a victory in the bag feels good, and we also know we have the speed.

Having only competed at Rally Portugal two times before, he is not heading to totally unfamiliar grounds. – Even though we haven’t competed here, we have done the recce, so I feel I do know the stages quite well. Friday also consists of new stages only, so that counts in our favour. I know the stages are quite rough, especially when we come to the second pass. You have to find a good balance between pushing and taking care of car and tyres at the same time, Ole says.He competed at Rally Portugal in 2015 and 2016, both times as a junior in a two-wheel drive. He finished 5thboth times.

After competing at 3 events, Ole Christian is holding third in the Driver’s Standings in the WRC2 category. He was leading after his victory in Sweden, and with a good result in Portugal the lead is within reach. – We always aim for a podium, but there is a very strong entry for Portugal, and I expect there will be a lot of drivers with the same target! Still we are aiming for podium and maybe get the lead back in the WRC2.

Rally Portugal gets underway Friday with 3 brand new stages, run twice. The day finish with a run through the Lousada Rally-Cross track. There will be familiar stages both Saturday and Sunday, before the rally finishes with the iconic Fafe-stage, famous for its spectacular jump and huge crowds watching.

Itinerary Rally Portugal 2019 (local times)

Thursday 30 May

09:30 Shakedown Paredes (4,60km)

Friday 31 May

08:30 Tyre Fitting Zone Coimbra

09:48 SS1 Lousa 1 (12,35km)

10:32 SS2 Gois 1 (18,78km)

11:20 SS3 Arganil 1 (14,44km)

12:33 Tyre Fitting Zone Arganil

13:51 SS4 Lousa 2 (12,35km)

14:35 SS5 Gois 2 (18,78km)

15:23 SS6 Arganil 2 (14,44km)

19:03 SS7 Lousada (3,36km)

20:10 Service Exponor

Saturday 1 June

06:45 Service Exponor

08:38 SS8 Vieira do Minho 1 (20,53km)

09:31 SS9 Cabeceiras de Basto 1 (22,22km)

10:47 SS10 Amarante 1 (37,60km)

12:50 Service Exponor

15:08 SS11 Vieira do Minho 2 (20,53km)

16:01 SS12 Cabaveiras de Basto 2 (22,22km)

17:17 SS13 Amarante 2 (37,60km)

19:15 Service Exponor

Sunday 2 June

06:50 Service Exponor

08:25 SS14 Montim 1 (8,76km)

09:08 SS15 Fafe 1 (11,18km)

09:49 SS16 Luilhas (11,89km)

10:35 SS17 Montim 2 (8,76km)

12:18 SS18 Fafe 2 Power Stage (11,18km)

13:50 Service Exponor

15:45 Podium Matosinhos