Vodafone Rally of Portugal confirmed in the WRC until 2026

10 maio 2024

The Portuguese round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) will continue on the calendar until at least 2026, following the signing of a new contract between the Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) and the WRC Promoter.

The ACP and the WRC Promoter confirmed this Friday that the Vodafone Rally of Portugal will continue in the World Rally Championship in 2025 and 2026. Carlos Barbosa, president of the ACP, and Jona Siebel, managing director of the WRC Promoter, formalized the contract at Exponor, as part of the 57th edition of the event.

"We're very proud to sign the contract for 2025 and 2026," said Carlos Barbosa. "It's recognition of all the organizational quality of the Rally of Portugal. Let's not forget that there are 1,200 people involved in organizing the rally, plus 600 security agents. It's a huge operation and we consecutively have one of the best rallies in the world. It's important that we now have a two-year contract, not least because the local councils are very important partners in the event and can now plan their budgets for the rally, at least until 2026," said the president of the ACP.

Jona Siebel, on the other hand, praised the Portuguese rally, one of the most emblematic on the calendar: "We were here for the 50th anniversary of the WRC in 2022 and it was a success. This year, we had the Beyond Rally forum here and it was a success again. The sporting side is always of a high standard and we're also very open to these side events. That's very important for the sport. And you only have to see that we have a million people over the four days of the rally. It's incredible. We're very happy with this agreement," said the head of WRC Promoter.

First held in 1967, the Rally of Portugal was part of the group of founding events of the World Rally Championship in 1973, when it became the third event on the calendar, alongside other emblematic events such as Monte Carlo, Sweden and the Safari. Portugal became one of the most popular rallies on the calendar, officially considered the best rally in the world five times. A hiatus between 2002 and 2006 was broken with the first 'world' edition in the Algarve in 2007. The ACP event has remained uninterrupted in the WRC since 2009.

The Vodafone Rally de Portugal is the most important sporting event held annually in Portugal, with almost one million spectators, a record impact of 164.7 million euros on the national economy and a strong environmental responsibility component, recognized by the FIA with the consecutive award of the international federation's maximum environmental certification since 2017.

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