PORTALEGRE (PORTUGAL): South Racing rounds off its campaign in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies by entering five cars in Portugal’s Baja Portalegre 500 this weekend.
The traditional final round of the world’s premier off-road series is based in the municipality of Portalegre and takes place from Thursday to Saturday (October 25-27).
South Racing won the event outright in 2017, courtesy of the experienced Portuguese crew of Ricardo Porém and Hugo Magalhães in a Ford Ranger. The success marked the fourth consecutive win for the driver, all of which were earned with different navigators.
Ricardo returns to defend his crown this weekend with Manuel Porem (winning navigator in 2014) and faces fierce competition from the likes of Dakar winners Stéphane Peterhansel and Joan Roma and former FIA World Cup winner Vladimir Vasilyev.
Pedro Ferreira has tackled select rounds of the Portuguese off-road series this year with South Racing and the local driver teams up with last year’s winning co-driver Hugo Magalhães to drive a South Racing-run Volkswagen Amarok.
The experienced Spaniard Fernando Alvarez lines up with Juan-Pablo Monasterolo to drive a second South Racing Volkswagen, while the German father and son duo of Jürgen and Max Schröder continue their programme of select FIA World Cup rounds in a Nissan Navara.
South Racing Central Europe will also be overseeing the exploits of the Czech pairing of Tomáš Ouřednīček and David Křīpal in a second Ford Ranger, the driver keen to get back to winning ways after crashing heavily out of the Moroccan Desert Challenge earlier in the season.
The timetable for the 32nd edition of the event for the teams gets underway with the ceremonial start in the Jardim do Torro in Portalegre on Thursday evening from 19.00hrs.
The top 10 starting order for the longer off-road sections will then be determined by the outcome of a 3.56km super special stage at Coutades on Friday morning from 10.30hrs. The first of the longer selective sections runs for 98km and gets underway at 15.30hrs on Friday afternoon.
A third 160km section starts out of Ponte de Sor from 07.45hrs on Saturday morning and the fourth and final timed stage of 195km gets underway at 14.00hrs. The podium is scheduled for 17.30hrs.