Overdrive Racing and South Racing hope to collect a prestigious victory on the Portuguese roads.
Tha FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies 2015 comes to an end with the Baja Portalegre 500 that is taking place in Southern Portugal on Friday October 23 and Saturday October 24. As usual, the last seasonal race presents many novelties in the route, aiming to offer participants and spectators new emotions.
Being the general standings of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies already decided – with Nasser Al-Attiyah that has finished first and Overdrive’s driver Vladimir Vasilyev second – the main racing teams decided not to participate in the race in order to focus on the Dakar Rally, yet the Baja Portalegre 500 looks promising. The final results will be crucial for the Portuguese Cross-country Championship, moreover the event features five FIA priority teams on its entry list. Host driver Ricardo Porém driving a Toyota Hilux Overdrive is one of the main favourite for the final victory and will have to face his co-countrymen Miguel Barbosa, Pedro Grancha and Rui Sousa as well as Spaniard Fernando Alvarez and South Americans Daniel Valdes and Marco Bolucia of South Racing Team.
The Baja Portalegre 500 will start as usual with its 5 km prologue at the Herdade das Coutadas, on Friday morning, while the second special stage of 85 km will be held during the afternoon. On Saturday the two remaining stages will take place respectively in the morning (150 km) and in the afternoon (200 km) before the arrival and the awarding ceremony in Portalegre.
In the meantime, Overdrive Racing – team supplied by EVO Corse – has announced that WRC driver Martin Prokop will race the Dakar Rally 2016 with an official Toyota Hilux Overdrive. “We wanted a WRC driver as part of the team and we are delighted to welcome Martin aboard for the Dakar,” said Overdrive Racing’s team director Jean-Marc Fortin. “We carried out a test before Morocco recently and I convinced him to drive for us after he saw the WRC-style nature of much of the route of the next Dakar.” Overdrive Racing will therefore lineup eight official crews in the South American rally raid.