For El Condor, read Fafe. For Argentina, read Portugal. The Portuguese fans always match their South American friends for absolute rally passion. At times in the event’s past that passion has been difficult to contain with catastrophic consequences – most notably in 1986 when Joaquim Santos’ RS200 went off the road and in fans lining the road through the Sintra hills. Four people were killed and 32 taken to hospital. Lessons were learned and the rally which runs today is a world away from the Eighties. In recent years, the Portuguese organizers have produced something of a blueprint in terms of fan management.
But the roads they stand alongside haven’t changed a bit – they’re still among the most challenging, rewarding and enjoyable in Europe.