IRC Rali Vinho Da Madeira

Submitted by tango on Wed, 2010-09-01 20:42.

IRC Rali Vinho da Madeira 05.-07.08.2010, Go Juho go.

Rali Vinho da Madeira 2010 was the first IRC event for our team as spectators. Marko and his family booked the Tap Airlines flights from Helsinki to Funchal via Lisbon and arrived to Funchal on Wednesday night. Our boys are in age of 3 and 6 years so it was known that this rally would be a hard challenge for our group, for sure. We had a "luxury" rental apartment with very nice view to the sea. The apartment was located in Lido area so it was few kilometers from the town. We had a rental car...ok it was not a real car but Renault Clio with very small engine :)

Thursday

Ceremonial Start:

There was a very well organized ceremonial start at the centre of the town in road named Avenida Arriaga next to nice park. We went there by rental car and walked maybe 900 meters through the Santa Catarina park. There were lots of spectators and local people gathered there to see the drivers and the cars. All cars were driven into two lines after the ceremony so it was good opportunity to meet the drivers and to see all cars very easily there without going to service park. We met Bernardo Sousa and Juho Hänninnen too. Juho was driving for the first time in rally Madeira and the event was new also for Skoda Motorsport. We got nice pictures and we were very happy to had a chance to meet the drivers too.

SSS1 Avenida do Mar: 

Super special stage was located next to ceremonial start so it was easy for everyone to follow the ceremonial start till the end and then walk to SSS1 in two minutes.
The stage was built in boulevard next to the harbor. Stage was very crowded and it took lot of time for us to find a standing place where we were able to see the stage and get action on video well.
People were cheering and the atmosphere was nice. We saw few spins and nice slides off course. Nice video we got there but it was very challenging to get any nice pictures.

In the evening we were back in the apartment and took it easily. We made pasta and had few beers....and of course we tasted worldwide very famous Madeira wines...maybe the best wines in world!!!  Doce sweet Madeira wine...nam nam :)

Friday

SS3 Terreiros:

We planned to drive through the first section of the stage before the road got closed but we had some difficulties to find the right way out of Funchal as few roads were closed by police. Other "problem" was that we were "forced" to take so many pictures about spectacular views of this very beautiful island :)

Even if we were trying to hurry to find the stage on time it was not possible to pass those landscapes without stopping. We found the stage but were forced to go there by walk as stage was closed already. After walking to the first corner of the stage we noticed that the area was already familiar to us as we had a holiday trip in Madeira few years ago. We decided to walk until we find some nice corner with good spectating area. We did not need to walk for long as the second corner was tricky enough. High speed corner to left continues and then finally tightens. The landscape was just amazing. The clouds were somewhere below between the mountains. It was about 1600 meters high in this stage and it was easy to follow the cars maybe 1.5 kilometres. Definitely it was top5 rally spectating areas according to Marko. In this corner no drama was seen but it could be easily seen who are the drivers and who are the tourist drivers. Top10 drivers were fast and others just drove through the stages. There were less than 50 cars so it would have been boring without those views around the stage.

SS5 Terreiros:

We climbed into hill to see the second round in different point of view. We were far away from the stage but it was spectacular place to see the rally from there too. Jan Kopecky had a close call when his Skoda lost a grip when the corner was tightening but finally he managed to avoid crashing in high speed. After the top drivers our boys were getting bored but ok...they had a packed lunch so it helped us to stay there until the stage was driven by all rally cars.

After the stage we walked into our car in very hot weather. Then we drove through part of the stage to see the stage more closely. There were not any tricky corners after the corner we were standing so we thought we found the "best" corner by walk. After the stage we visited Pico do Areeiro 1818 meter high place by car. The road and the landscape was just amazing. It´s hard to describe it by words. If we would have been very fast it would have been possible to see even 4 stages on Friday. We took it easily and drove to old village named Santana. There we had a lunch in nice Pizzeria. After the lunch we were ready for one more stage for Friday.

SS12 Cidade de Santana: 

We found a nice corner to right going tight uphill. It was full of spectators and they were yelling and laughing very loud. The atmosphere was maybe the best we have seen in rally stages ever. Everyone just enjoyed the sunny rallying day. It was amazing. Local people had freezers full of cold and even frozen liquids to sell...beer, water, cola and prices were very low. It was nice as the day was getting very hot....maybe 28 degrees. The stage started and we saw only about 15 cars..then we heard that some accident was happened on stage and the ambulance was going to the stage. Of course it was disappointing for us but not for local people...they were still yelling and cheering for the drivers who drove the stage through slowly as it was the only way to go to the next stage. The rallying day was over for us finally..long day for us and especially for the boys. Even when the stage was cancelled it left only good memories for us. We got great video and nice pictures there. After the stage we drove back to Santana village and saw some old traditional houses with thatched roofs. Finally we decided to drive to Funchal via Sao Vicente...so we drove through many of Fridays stages automatically. Grazy stages they have there. There are so many different kind of roads used The surface of the stages is good but the weather conditions are changing even on one stage a lot. There were some wet tunnels and then dry very tight uphill and then downhill etc. Impressive roads for rallying.

Saturday 

SS15 Ponta do Pargo 1: 

Early wake up as we wanted to be on time in nice stage named Ponta do Pargo Marko remembered the stage well as he drove it through few years ago on holiday in different direction. We also made some work before the rally to find some material from internet. We found some in-car video and then it was easy to go to nice bend to right that tightens. Maybe one kilometer from the start. It was hard work to get the boys there before the rally cars. Safety cars allowed us to walk on stages as we just were waving Finnish flags and showed that yes we will be off road very soon. It was nice. We found the corner..only few local spectators...and some guy with the video camera too. We got the best spectating spots easily. It was fast bend and some local Mitsu driver had a real close call. Somehow he finally managed to keep the car on the road. It was close to get some action on tape. It was nice to be there...nice view, nice rallying etc.

After the first round there were about four hours time. There were sign Levada...so it was easy decision to walk there before the second round. It was hard as it was so hot again. Finally after walking uphill maybe 1000 meters we found a levada and it was so nice. We had a brejk and refreshed on water and so on. Then we walked on levada maybe 1.5 kilometers in two direction. Our boys were so brave. Well done Esko and Aapo. Ok Katri and Marko were brave too.

SS19 Ponta do Pargo 2: 

After the levada trip we went back to same corner for the second round. The drivers took it more easily now and the grip was very high. Not any "action" was seen this time . But ok we got more spectacular photos thanks to Katri.

We saw many stages during the rally and it was a great event even if there was less than 50 cars. In Rally Madeira you can see so many stages easily. Maybe it would have been possible to see 3 stages on Saturday without hurry We were happy to see two stages :) We can recommend the rally for other rally spectators. It´s hard to find action here...or maybe it´s possible but you need to know the stages very well and go there very early. Normally there were only one or two roads to use when approaching the stages...lot of walking or going early :) Its also hard to find a place to park your car in some stages. The flights were quite expensive but otherwise it was ok. Renting a car and apartments were really nice and prices were good. Who knows if Tango Team Motorsport go there some year again.

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