LISBON (PORTUGAL): Sixty-one teams and competitors from 23 countries will take part in next week’s 53rd Vodafone Rally of Portugal, the seventh round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship.
There are 11 World Rally Cars, four drivers entered in WRC 2 Pro and 23 in WRC 2 on the entry list posted by the Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) today.
Nine-time World Champion and two-time Portugal winner Sébastien Loeb will drive for the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team for a second successive event alongside Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo, the Frenchman replacing Andreas Mikkelsen for the first European gravel event of the season in the third i20 WRC.
There are no changes to the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team or the Citroën Total World Rally Team line-ups, but young Briton Gus Greensmith will drive a Ford Fiesta WRC as part of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team for the first time alongside the two regular drivers Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen.
The Škoda Motorsport duo of Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecký will lock horns with Mads Østberg (Citroën Total) and the returning Pole Lukasz Pieniazek (M-Sport Ford) in the new WRC 2 Pro category.
Portuguese drivers Ricardo Teodósio, Miguel Barbosa, Armindo Araújo, José Pedro Fontes, Bruno Magalhães and Pedro Meireles feature on the impressive WRC 2 entry that also includes Mexican series leader Benito Guerra, recent Rally Chile category winner Takamoto Katsuta of Japan, Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby and veteran Henning Solberg.
The event is based at the Exponor Exhibition Centre in Matosinhos and gets underway from 19.00hrs on Thursday, May 30th with the ceremonial start in the Porta Férrea area of the city of Coimbra.
Valuable support for the event comes from Vodafone, BP, the North and the Centre of Portugal tourism boards, Škoda and a host of regional municipalities.