WRC stars to shine at Fafe Rally Sprint
Nine World Rally Cars top entry list for Portugal appetiser
Billed by Rally Portugal organisers as an ’appetiser’ before next month’s fourth round of the World Championship, the Fafe Rally Sprint boasts a 29-strong entry list including nine World Rally Cars.
More than 100,000 spectators are expected at the show event on Saturday 6 April, giving those living in northern Portugal the chance to experience the spectacle of World Rally Cars in action and offering drivers a last minute testing opportunity before the rally gets underway five days later.
The sprint takes place on a 6.34-kilometre section of the iconic Fafe-Lameirinha stage, no longer part of Rally Portugal, but made famous when the event was based in the north of the country prior to its move south in 2007.
Heading the World Rally Car entrants are championship leader Sebastien Ogier and his new teammate Andreas Mikkelsen, who will compete in their Volkswagen Motorsport Polo Rs. Ogier’s title rival Mikko Hirvonen and his Citroen teammate Dani Sordo will be in action in their DS3 World Rally Cars.
Last year’s Portugal winner Mads Ostberg and his Qatar M-Sport teammate Evgeny Novikov will drive Fiesta RS World Rally Cars. Also in Fiestas will be Thierry Neuville, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Martin Prokop.
Former F1 driver Robert Kubica is another highlight of the entry list and will pilot a Citroën DS3 RRC as a final test before tackling his first WRC event.
A popular feature of the sprint is one the most challenging jumps in rallying. The record for longest jump, which was set by Armin Schwarz in a Skoda Octavia WRC in 2000, stands at 73.5 metres.
Starting at 1420hrs, the crews will battle their way through two qualifying rounds on the way to the final at 1710hrs.
Rally Portugal gets underway with qualifying at 1015hrs on Thursday 11 April and ends with the podium ceremony at the Algarve Stadium in Faro on Sunday 14 April.
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