WRC

Rally Portugal: Aimont Racing preview

Gigi Galli in a Citroen Xsara WRC of Aimont Racing Team at Rally Portugal, their third race in the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini in a Citroen Xsara WRC prepared by PH Sport France and run by Aimont Racing...

Gigi Galli in a Citroen Xsara WRC of Aimont Racing Team at Rally Portugal, their third race in the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship

Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini in a Citroen Xsara WRC prepared by PH Sport France and run by Aimont Racing Teeam, are ready to tackle their third race of the world rally season, Rally Portugal, fifth round of the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship. From the snowy roads of Sweden and Norway to the gravel roads of Portugal.

The first edition of Rally Portugal has been held in 1967. This rally has always been considered very difficult but is also one of the most famous and has been voted best rally of the world rally season 6 times. One of the characteristics that have always marked out this race is the relationship between spectators and drivers, affection and spur throughout the whole rally. This year Rally Portugal re-enter the World Rally Championship after five years absence, the last world edition has been run in 2001, therefore it's new for most world rally drivers. Furthermore this race, once run on tarmac and gravel, then only on gravel, had different venues, Cascais-Estoril and then Oporto and starting from 2005 the tourist region of Algarve, south of the country. The several innovations and improvements show a strong will to re-gain the splendor of the past.

Rally Portugal will, start on Thursday March 29th at 17.30 hrs with a Super Special Stage of 2,03 km in and around the Algarve Stadium near Faro, built in 2004 to host the European Soccer Championship, there is place for approximately 20.000 spectators. This Super Special will be disputed as last stage of the rally on Sunday April 1st at 14.00 hrs. Near the Algarve Stadium is located also the Service Park. There are 18 gravel special stages, a total of 357,10 km, approximately the 35% of the total length of the race, 1.008,70 km. The stages are a mixture of wide open fast roads and some technical winding roads, on a compact gravel surface that can be abrasive if dry and slippery if raining. The longest stage of the race is Silves/Ourique, 30,69 km, that will be run twice during the second and longest leg of the rally on March 31st.

"I'm ready" said Gigi Galli "I took part in this rally twice, in 1999 and 2000 with a Mitsubishi Group N, but at that time the rally was based near Oporto, so I do not know this new route. We didn't make major changes on the car apart changing the set up to gravel. We did very few tests but the car is fine and also the Pirelli tyres, so we are confident and we'll do our best".

-credit: ar

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Giovanni Bernacchini , Gigi Galli
Teams Citroën World Rally Team