Rally de Portugal organiser Automóvel Club de Portugal has published the entry list which sees a bumper entry of 100 crews for the first gravel round of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship, which contains 12 cars in the Rally1 and a massive field of 41 cars in WRC2.
Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä, has won in Rally Sweden and last out in Croatia Rally, he headlines the three-car entry from Toyota Gazoo Racing and will be joined by the teammates Elfyn Evans and the reigning champion Sébastien Ogier who replaces Esapekka Lappi in third car for this round.
Toyota’s development driver Takamoto Katsuta will be piloting the fourth Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 in the team’s second string outfit.
Hyundai Motorsport will also have a line-up change for first time this season as Dani Sordo replaces Oliver Solberg in the third Hyundai i20 N Rally1 machine and will join Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville.
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team is the first team to be fielding five Ford Puma Rally1 cars this season with the nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb, Craig Breen and Adrien Fourmaux in the point scoring squad meanwhile Gus Greensmith and Pierre-Louis Loubet are listed as additional cars.
Cyrille Féraud is the sole driver to the be entered in an older spec Citroën DS3 WRC in the WRC class.
The WRC2 points leader and regining WRC2 champion Andreas Mikkelsen is returning for Portugal in the Toksport WRT outfit and he will be joined by his young rising star teammate Marco Bulacia in a pair of Skoda Fabia Rally2 evos meanwhile Nikolay Gryazin is the sole driver in the second team.
Hyundai Motorsport N makes their first appearance of the season in the WRC2 class with Teemu Suninen and Fabrizio Zaldivar driving a pair of Hyundai i20 N Rally2 cars and will be joined by Oliver Solberg in a third car.
Front-runners entered in Citroen C3 Rally2 cars are Yohan Rossel, who took his maiden WRC2 win in Croatia last time out, Jan Solans, Eric Camilli, Stéphane Lefebvre and Sean Johnston.
Other frontrunners are likely to include the Fabias of Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Chris Ingram and 2021 Portuguese Championship runner-up Armindo Araujo. Eerik Pietarinen and Georg Linnamäe in Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, and Erik Cais and Martin Prokop in Ford Fiesta Rally2.
Rally de Portugal also marks the third round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship where the Croatia winner Lauri Joona tops the seven Ford Fiesta Rally3 entry from M-Sport Poland with all seven of them registered for the WRC3 class too where they will be joined by local hero Nuno “Kaetanen” Caetano.
Outside the WRC classes there are 17 crews registered for the Rally4 class where the Peugeot 208 Rally4 cars are dominant and 8 crews for the Toyota Gazoo Racing’s TGR Iberian Cup which is a single-make class using Toyota GR Yaris RZ cars.
The four days event of Rally de Portugal will be held on 19-22 May, click here for the full entry list.