A classic among classics. The “Rally de Portugal Histórico” once again had emotion until the end, landscapes of rare natural beauty and the charm of classic cars, in an edition won by the Belgians Yves Deflandre and Jennifer Hugo. The Porsche 911 duo reached their third victory in the ACP race, equalling João Mexia Leitão's record of triumphs.
The 16th edition of the “Rally de Portugal Histórico” justified the status of the ACP race as one of the most emblematic Historic Regularity Rallies in Europe. Seven dozen teams, most of them foreign, faced the challenge of covering more than 2,000 kilometres through some of the most beautiful roads in mainland Portugal, driving models that marked the history of the automobile and the “Rally de Portugal”.
Among these, the different generations of Porsche 911s reigned, with the power and reliability of the German car allowing the French and Belgian drivers a performance that was hard to match in the selective and demanding sections of “Rally de Portugal Histórico”. Christophe Baillet was the driver to beat during the first stage of the race, but the 2021 edition winner was late in passing through the legendary Arganil area on Wednesday's stage. His compatriot Christophe Berteloot took the lead, also driving a Porsche, but the Frenchman couldn't stop Yves Deflandre's recovery. It was in Mortágua that the Belgian navigated by Jennifer Hugo started to build his third victory in the race, moving to the front of the rally and focusing on managing the advantage until the arrival at Estoril Casino´s gardens, in the early hours of Saturday morning, after the famous “Sintra night”.
Portuguese on the podium
Deflandre's consecration coincided with the famous Estoril Classics, the ideal stage for the Belgian driver to celebrate his third triumph in the “Rally de Portugal Histórico”, equalling João Mexia Leitão's record. Berteloot maintained the suspense as to the final winner, as the Frenchman finished just 5.3 points behind Deflandre, with the Portuguese Piero Dal Maso and Sancho Ramalho also taking the final podium, after their Porsche 911 had been leading the rally, still in the first stage.
Another Portuguese duo, Domingos Santos and Filipe Menezes, was fourth, while Spaniards Joaquim Muntada Colom/Jan Rosa Viñas completed a top 5 monopolized by different versions of the Porsche 911 (produced between 1970 and 1983). In the team classification, Catalunya Team 1 Mediterrania won, followed by Portugal Clássicos, while the Alfa Romeo Giulia of Jean-Guy Monmarthe / Nicolas Guiset triumphed in Category C.
A total of 53 teams reached the end of the race, after 43 “specials” and 2,060 kilometres of track, a number that attests to the endurance of the real time machines that brightened up the “XVI Rally de Portugal Histórico”.
XVI RALLY DE PORTUGAL HISTÓRICO
1.º Yves Deflandre / Jennifer Hugo (Porsche 911)
2.º Christophe Berteloot / Gengoux Baptiste (Porsche 911 SC), a 5,3
3.º Piero dal Maso / Sancho Ramalho (Porsche 911 2.2), a 194,6
4.º Domingos Santos / Filipe Menezes (Porsche 911 SC), a 335,5
5.º Joaquim Muntada Colom / Jan Rosas Viñas (Porsche 911 SC), a 346,1
6.º Yury Lysenko / Victor Polyakov (BMW Alpina), a 643,
7.º Carles Miró Ylla / Ivan Matavacas Ramirez (Porsche 911 SC), a 653,3
8.º Ilya Kashin / Boris Kostyrko (VW Scirocco), a 671,5
9.º Jordi Pons Lluvia / Jessica Aguilar (Lancia Stratos), a 703,2
10.º Jorge Fanlo Cruz / Daniel Garcia (Porsche 911 SC), a 988,9
53 teams qualified.