The last 10 years have seen the Algarve region play host to the Vodafone Rally de Portugal but for 2015 it moves back to the north of the country as promotors look to reignite the nations passion for FIA World Rally Championship.
Michèle Moulton is the only woman so far to win at WRC level and is now the FIA’s WRC Manager. “For me, the home of rally in Portugal is the north. And I think it’s the same for the Portuguese. There is a lot of passion for the rally and that’s not what we have seen in the south. The event there was very good but I think the passion for the sport is in the north.” said Moulton.
1982 saw Moutlon and co-driver Fabrizia Pons take victory in their Audi Quattro for their second WRC victory.
“I’m sure the fans are happy that the rally is back. I have been one of the people pushing the organisers hard to move from the south to the north and to go back to the event’s heritage.”
While there will be the familiar Fafe stage which is used for the annual Fafe Rally Sprint (a traditional warm up to the main rally) there will be a host of new stages for all of the rally crews.
Mouton said: “These will be new stages for everybody and that will make it exciting. It adds an extra element of uncertainty to the competition. If you don’t know the road, it creates more surprises.”
“I hope the drivers will enjoy the stages, and I am sure they will have the support of the spectators – even if today it is impossible to accept the same numbers by the stages. Organisers have worked very hard on spectator safety. They have set up clear areas, and told spectators that the rally’s future is up to them,” she added.