Twelve months after the tragedy-struck Portuguese World Championship Rally, the top teams and drivers returned to the country for the third round of the 1987 contest with mixed emotions. So much had changed. Drivers had changed factories. Factories had left the sport only for others to join in. It was always so, but the major change in the intervening period had been the cars themselves - pulled back more towards standard specification by stringent rule-changes - most as a direct result of Portugal 1986 and the later death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver in the Tour de Corse. The cameras were rolling just the same though, and some top-class shots and sequences were extracted from the rally, which featured the major factories struggling to maintain progress against the stiff odds of suspension unequal to the very rough roads. Markku Alen was attempting to win the Portuguese for the fifth time, and had the Lancia Delta HF 4WD well in contention. But the 2WD Renault 11 Turbo of Jean Ragnotti was to prove an effective challenge for the experienced Finnish campaigner. Kenneth Eriksson gets better and better with each event and threw himself wholeheartedly into the task of seeing off the Mazdas, whose Swedish euphoria was soon to wear off. His endeavours with the 16-valve Volkswagen Golf GTI were one of the high points oft event. But, just as earlier, there was tragedy as well as triumph, and a question-mark hung over whether this would be the last video to record a World Championship round in Portugal.
|Channel||Duke Classic Videos|
|Program||Duke Classics - World Rally|
|Episode title||Portuguese Rally 1987|