It is already tomorrow, August the 7. th, that the 61. st edition of the Rally Vinho da Madeira hits the roads. The race, organized by the Club Sports of Madeira and directed by Pedro Melvill Araújo, is, this year, shortened, with sixteen Special Stages divided into equal numbers amongst the two days of the competition. This reduction of this year's event route came up as a result of the necessity to reajust the competition to the economic consequences brought upon by the pandemic. It also functions as to avoid places that, traditionally, are places of large gatherings, facilitating this way the enforcement of the sanitary and distancing rules.
Sports-wise, the Organizing Committee, presided by Paulo Fontes, managed to pull together a list of 60 enrolled competitors, from which four current title holders, Madeira, the Azores, Portugal and Spain, as well as names that usually compete nationally, regionally and both at the absolute level and in specific groups. The multi-time winners of the race Bruno Magalhães (Hyundai i20 R5), Alexandre Camacho and José Fontes (Citroën C3 R5) will try to conquer another victory, one which, in normal conditions, might also fall on the shoulders of the Madeirans Miguel Nunes and Pedro Paixão (Skoda Fabia R5) or the Spanish José Maria "Pepe" Lopez (Citroën C3 R5).
Thinking about conquering the biggest sum of points possible for the Portuguese Rally Championship, the current title holder, Ricardo Teodósio (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo) and Armindo Araújo, in an identical vehicle, or even the Madeiran Rui Pinto (Ford Focus RS WRC), will also try to get a top standing. The superior quality of those enrolled also allows for the anticipation of an animated fight for the second spot, both at general standings as well as at groups and classes. The First Leg of the Rally Vinho da Madeira establishes a double passage by the Special Stages of the Golf Court, Palheiro Ferreiro, Boaventura and Santana City, in a competitive total of 80, 38 kilometers.