In the Portuguese Port Wine Rally in Estoril, Markku Allen of Finland, driving a Fiat-Abarth has won for the third year running.
In the Portuguese Port Wine Rally in Estoril, Markku Allen of Finland, driving a Fiat-Abarth has won for the third year running. On Sunday (23 April), Allen was followed in second place by another Finn, Hannu Mikkola in a Ford Escort and the third place was taken by Jean Pierre Nicholas of France.
SYNOPSIS: A total of 113 cars took part in the rally, the 12th and the fourth round of this year's world championships. Entries from twelve countries competed in the four stage, 1,430 mile (2,289 kms) rally with its gruelling 46 special stages. Finland's Markku Allen, winner for the last two years was among the favourites to win from the start.
Allen set up an early lead, but fellow Finn Hannu Mikkola driving a Ford Escort was also a strong contender.
Jean-Pierre Nicholas who took third place, also in a Ford Escort.
And following closely behind, a Toyota Celica which Ove Andersson powered into fourth place.
The rally, which started and finished at the Autodrome in Estoril, a coastal resort near the capital of Lisbon, was tough going from the start. When the rally finished on Sunday, only 20 of the 113 cars which started were still in the running.
From the very start, the four cars which eventually took the first four places, were involved in a tussle for the lead.
But the laurels of victory could go to only one car -- and it was Markku Allen's team that shared the jubilation of a hard fought win. Allen's time in his Fiat Abarth was seven hours, 45 minutes ... just five minutes ahead of Mikkola. Jean Pierre Nicholas, in third place with a time of eight hours, one minute, had been unable to repeat his successes earlier in the year when the won the Monte Carlo and East African Safari Rallies.