Pre-event Recce is a vital part of every event for the drivers. Its a chance for them to drive through each stage at a restricted speed limit to write and perfect the crews pace notes. Marking down where to go flat, what corners to cut and note any dangerous sections or possible obstacles at the side of the road such as tree stumps, rocks or compressions in the road which could cause a problem at high speed in a World Rally Car.
Its normally a standard affair – However this years rally Portugal was somewhat of a tough challenge before the event even begun. Looking more like a washed out dakar race than a recognisance drive, the roads that will be used as part of Rally Portugal became rivers. There was so much rain that alot of the stages were flooded out. The drivers of course still took it without hesitation but must have missed some vital information out on their pace notes thanks to most of what they were looking out for was under water.
The event will still go ahead, and the forecast is for warm dry weather over the weekend of the rally. However you can expect some stages to be cancelled.
Back in 2012, Rally Portugal suffered from a similar down pour during the rally, that and fog on the afternoon of Day 2, which had to be cancelled. Lets hope the weather will stay dry for the rally at least.
photo by Mikko Hirvonen of the start of stage 3