Hoping to consolidate our manufacturers’ lead
We’re back on European soil for the next round of the 2019 WRC season, Rally de Portugal, extending a run of gravel events following the recent South American double header.
Having scored a 1-2 result in Argentina and a podium in Chile, we hold a 29-point advantage in the manufacturers’ championship as the season approaches its midway mark. Our aim for Portugal is to consolidate that position.
“The championship is heating up and we know we have to be on our A-game if we are to reassert our credentials for this year’s title,” said our Team Director Andrea. “The crew line-up has been defined to give us the best chance possible to achieve our potential, but we are also well aware that our rivals will be pushing.”
Thierry and Nicolas were forced to retire in Chile after a heavy crash, but our Belgians will resume their championship campaign in Portugal, where they won twelve months ago.
“We have had some very strong results at Rally de Portugal in recent seasons,” said Thierry. “Nicolas and I are fighting fit and ready to support the team to our full capability in the manufacturers’ title battle.”
Joining them will be Dani/Carlos and Sébastien /Daniel in the #6 and #19 i20 Coupe WRC cars respectively. All three crews are ready for action, having tested the car on gravel in Europe ahead of the rally.
“Portugal is a nice event,” said Dani. “There is always a fantastic atmosphere, which makes it a pleasure to drive there. My target is to fight for the victory and to bring home as many points as possible.”
“Participating in this rally is an unexpected bonus, but I am looking forward to it greatly,” added Sébastien. “I found a really nice feeling in Chile. If we can get quickly back into the same rhythm, I am hopeful we can feature strongly.”
A fast, technical and complicated event, Rally de Portugal will introduce a new-look for this year, revisiting stages in the Arganil region for the first time since 2001. In addition to the fresh challenges, there will also be firm favourites, including the spectacular Fafe stage and its iconic jump.
The event gets underway with a ceremonial start on Thursday, May 30 at Coimbra.