The second day of Vodafone Rally de Portugal takes competitors back to a trio of gravel stages in the Serra do Caldeirão hills, north of Faro.
After leaving the Service Park from 0810hrs, crews will tackle a loop of three speed tests before returning to Faro for a 30-minute service. In the afternoon crews will tackle the same loop before they return to the town for the final overnight halt at 1700hrs after 135km of competition.
Here are the wrc.com stage notes for Saturday’s stages. Under the summaries you’ll find our list of website links to help you follow the rally via our live results service.
SS8/11: Almondovar. 26.20km
Almondovar is the longest stage of the rally and a challenging mix of sweeping, high-speed roads and slower, more technical sections. It starts fast and flowing through open countryside and meadows. At the 4km point there’s a sequence of blind crests – starting with one that caught out Chris Atkinson, Manfred Stohl and Armindo Araujo in 2007. At 8.4km there’s a short stretch of tarmac and the road narrows, becoming barely wider than the cars as it winds downhill through a village. The middle section is rough and twisty with some big drops by the roadside and wooded sections. At 16km there’s a hairpin left and the stage opens out again, becoming fast and flowing. It flows downhill from the 19km point with big drops on both sides then tightens for a climb from 21km to the end.
SS9/12: Vascao. 25.23km
The middle stage of Saturday’s loop is another mixed affair with lots of crests and jumps interspersed with tight and twisty sections. The road surface is covered with rough gravel, but there are patches of bedrock showing through too, so it will be tough on tyres, especially on downhill sections. It’s absolutely flat out for the first few kilometres, then winds down into a valley until a sequence of three jumps in the space of few hundred metres at the 8.5km point. At 11km there’s a 60 metre long water crossing which wraps around a left-hand bend before the road climbs up and over some nasty crests. There’s a sweeping downhill section at 13km which will really test brakes, before the road switches to concrete for a blast through a village. The last 4.7km are brand new and includes three blind crests in quick succession at the 22km point.
SS10/13: S. Bras de Alportel. 16.12km
Unchanged from when it was run in 2009, this stage features more climbs and descents than any of the others on Saturday. It starts with a steep downhill section to a watersplash at 2.4km then makes a tough climb to a series of high speed blind crests at 5km. From then on it’s up and down all the way, ending with a very technical, wooded section right before the flying finish.
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