The Atlantic Ocean once again serves as the backdrop for Rally Portugal. After the super special in Foz, Porto, it is now the turn of Figueira da Foz, with the competitors, this time, early in the evening of Friday 12 May, riding on the “border” between Figueira da Foz and Buarcos.
According to Autolook.pt, the super-special will take place between Marginal, on Avenida do Brasil, and the parking lot next to Spasso Praia. The route runs from Avenida do Brasil, in Figueira da Foz, to Fortaleza de Buarcos, along Avenida Infante Dom Pedro. In the middle, a jump. Next to Praça do Mar Português, there is a large parking area where the competitors will make the usual “doughnuts”, before entering the opposite direction in the opposite lane of the same road from where they started, making the rest of the journey in the opposite direction, always next to the beach .
It will be a super special one with lots of space for the audience, probably with lots of booths being built for better visibility for the expected crowd.
12 different locations
Last year, Rally Portugal debuted a new super special, Coimbra, but in the past this history, of super specials, was very rich.
As early as 1972, the Estoril Autódromo was the stage for a qualifying test for the Portugal Rally. At the end of the second stage, and in 5 heats of about two dozen cars, the competitors covered seven laps of the track. Under heavy rain, Bernard Darniche, in an Alpine Renault A110 was the fastest, leaving his teammate Jean Pierre Nicolas 1 second behind. But the concept of super special didn’t exist yet.
Hence, the super specials at Rally Portugal were born with the 1987 segment at the Autódromo do Estoril (1987 to 1989; (13.10 km/11.60/5.5 Km), which in the first year was basically two laps of the track starting from the pit lane and making only one detour from the pit entrance, re-entering the straight alongside the tower, with the course changing in 1988 and 1989, with dirt roads and tarmac on the circuit being used.
In the same year, Braga (12.90 km) was born, as already mentioned, with a very winding track, bordered by ribbons, and with a lot of dust in the mix, in what is now the Vasco Sameiro Circuit.
In 1989 came the turn of Jamor, which remained until 1992, with a fast and spectacular dirt track, which is now a golf course (2.50 km). In 1991, the “Lousada” was born, which had several versions, the first with 3.00 km and two cars at the same time on parallel tracks, actually having three at the same time in three different layouts.
In 1999, Baltar was “born” (3.20 km), which was held until 2001, and after the break, in 2007, already in the Algarve, a super-special route was held in the Estádio Algarve (2.03 km), The following year. The race did not say in the WRC, and in the IRC the super special was in Faro.
Finally, in 2011 the Super-special of Lisbon was born, in Praça do Império, next to the Hieronymus Monastery (3.27 km).
In 2015, the wonderful Porto Street Stage, which brought thousands of spectators to the center of Porto. Then it was the turn of Braga and again Porto, again in Aliados, but that year, the super special in Porto took place elsewhere in the city, in the streets next to the Forte de São João Batista, in Foz do Porto.
A super special was even planned in Vila Nova de Gaia, but was canceled by the municipality shortly before the event.
Without talking about the “variations”, but only about the locations, the Portugal Rally already had super-specials at the Autódromo do Estoril, Braga (2 different locations), Jamor (Lisbon), Lousada, Baltar, Estádio Algarve, in the center of Faro ( IRC, 2008), Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, next to Portugal dos Pequenitos, and now Figueira da Foz, on the waterfront, in Buarcos. Where will it be next?