Race of Portugal - 10-12/07/2015
A new street circuit beckons as the WTCC returns to Portugal for the first time since 2013 – but it’s a circuit with plenty of history. Racing has been held around the hillside roads of Vila Real since 1931, when Gaspar Sameiro and Ercilio Barbosa conquered the original 7.150-kilometre course in a Ford Model A. Since then an annual event has been run on and off, and in recent years it has hosted the Portuguese Touring Car Championship. With the WTCC’s arrival, however, Vila Real welcomes its first world championship event.
1: The last WTCC races held in Portugal in 2013 were at the Circuito da Boavista in Porto, which were won by Chevrolet drivers Yvan Muller and James Nash.
2: Vila Real played host to F3 single-seaters in the 1960s before sportscar racing came to the fore. Chris Craft and David Piper won a six-hour event in 1969 driving a Porsche 908.
3: During the 1980s touring car racing thrived at the circuit before a fatal accident in 1991 forced the authorities to intervene. Racing resumed on a shortened version of the circuit in 2007, with a revival meeting attended by Stirling Moss.
4: The city of Vila Real in northern Portugal has seen its population more than double in recent years – from 24,481 people in 2001 to 51,850 in 2011.
5: Although Portuguese WTCC star Tiago Monteiro was born in nearby Porto, he’s never raced at Vila Real but has described the track as a cross between Macau and Nürburgring Nordschleife.Official Website
Lap distance: 4,6km
Qualifying: To be established
Race: To be established