Red Bull TV talks to the leading Portugal contenders and a top model.

Red Bull TV talks to the leading Portugal contenders and a top model.

19.05.2017: Whoís going to win Rally Portugal? Diana Pereira & Carlos Sainz today at the Service Park Rally Portugal gets underway properly today, with the first full

Who’s going to win Rally Portugal?

Diana Pereira & Carlos Sainz today at the Service Park

Rally Portugal gets underway properly today, with the first full day of action in and around Porto, featuring eight special stages. Your guides to this unique and historic event are guest reporter Carlos Sainz – who needs no introduction, as a legend of the sport – and Red Bull TV presenter Mike Chen. You might have seen him around too…


So, what can you expect from the next three days? Plenty of flat-out action over some of the most iconic stages on the championship, but also some unique behind-the scenes features, bringing the sport to life on your screen.

After his starring role on Rally Argentina, we’ll be taking a closer look at Elfyn Evans, comparing his previous performance in Portugal to that of his key rivals. Plus, we’ll find out how exactly he went from promising youngster to potential rally winner in the space of just one event. Casting an expert eye over the debate is Sainz, a man who knows exactly what it takes to win in Portugal. And a whole load of other places besides.

We also catch up with Evans and his co-driver Daniel Barritt themselves to get their insider perspective, and ask Sainz just what it takes to win your first rally. Often, it takes longer than you think. Sainz first triumphed at the 1990 Acropolis Rally in Greece, and the overwhelming emotion for the Spanish legend back then was one of relief, as he had come so close before.

“Even at the end of the year before, in 1989, we were leading Rally Great Britain – back when it was a blind rally, with just maps rather than our own pace notes – only to have a propshaft break and stop us with just two stages to go,” says Sainz. “There were other occasions like this too, so when we finally won, I thought: ‘At last! We can do it!’ And from that point on, it got a lot easier in fact.”

Is Evans on the verge of a similar breakthrough, to claim his place in the big league? But the man to beat is Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville: joint fastest over the opening superspecial stage in Lousada yesterday and aiming for a hat trick of wins this weekend, which could enable him to take the championship lead from four-time champion Sebastien Ogier. Mike Chen catches up with Thierry to see how he rates his prospects.

We also meet Portuguese top model, business owner, and rally driver Diana Pereira. She’s also known as Mrs Tiago Monteiro: Portugal’s former grand prix driver who is now competing in the World Touring Car Championship.

Diana has a huge passion for motorsport in general and rallying in particular: something that is shared with all her compatriots, as it's the amazing fans that makes Rally Portugal truly unique.

Some detailed 3D maps show us what to expect from the rally’s complex stages, which have become faster and wider compared to last year. Throughout it all, we’ll get expert insight and analysis from Sainz, who is looking forward to his new role as a television pundit on Red Bull TV.

“After so many years of driving, I thought it would be nice to see what it’s like on the other side of the fence,” says Carlos. “I’m hoping that I can use my experience to explain to all the viewers everything that’s happening in more detail.”

But don’t worry – Carlos hasn’t abandoned driving completely. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Spaniard’s debut in the WRC, which happened on the 1987 Rally Portugal, he and long-standing co-driver Luis Moya went back to the event’s most iconic piece of road: Fafe, naturally in a rally car. The results were amazing, but we’ll see all of that in tomorrow’s live show… Don’t miss it: online on or via the Red Bull TV app!


To mark the 30th anniversary of his first appearance on the WRC classic event, Carlos Sainz is driving a Peugeot 208 T16 car with his former co-driver Luis Moya (ESP) over the famous Fafe stage of Rally Portugal.



Friday 19 May: Highlight Show - 22:00 (local time WEST) / 23:00 CEST
Saturday 20 May: Live Coverage - 14:50 (local time WEST) / 15:50 CEST
Saturday 20 May: Highlight Show - 22:00 (local time WEST) / 23:00 CEST
Sunday 21 May: Highlight Show - 22:00 (local time WEST) / 23:00 CEST

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Vera Dussausaye, photos Red Bull


19.05.2017 / MaP

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