Baja Portalegre 500 2021: 404 registered and the decision of the world and European titles.

Baja Portalegre 500 2021: 404 registered and the decision of the world and European titles.

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The most important race of the Portuguese calendar will take place between October 28 and 30.

Thirty-five years after its debut edition, the Baja Portalegre 500 continues to enjoy an unmatched charisma, as confirmed by the 404 entries for this year's edition, about 20% from foreigners of 27 nationalities. An impressive number, especially since not even the last edition of the Dakar had so many participants on motorcycles and quads. The great off-road festival will take place between October 28 and 30, with the added interest of deciding titles in the FIA Bajas Cross-Country World Cup (with Portugal's Alexandre Ré as one of the candidates), but also in the FIA Bajas Cross-Country European Cup.

101 cars registered

A total of 101 cars are registered for the Baja Portalegre 500 (lists in this link). Among these, natural highlight for the drivers who are fighting for the FIA Bajas Cross-Country World Cup title, but also for the FIA Bajas Cross-Country European Cup title.

The duos Yazeed Al Rajhi/Michael Orr (Toyota Hilux Overdrive) and Yasir Seaidan/Alexey Kuzmich (MINI John Cooper Works Rally) are the first to hit the road next Friday (October 29th), the day on which the Qualifying Special will be held, but also the first Selective Sector. In the order shown, they are the top two teams in the FIA Bajas Cross-Country World Cup and the only contenders for the overall title. One of the fights that promises to mark the race, but not the only one

The Portuguese brothers Alexandre Ré and Pedro Ré (Can Am Maverick), after winning the FIA Bajas Cross-Country European Cup at Baja Italia, arrive in Portalegre with a chance of winning the FIA Bajas Cross-Country World Cup title in the T4 category. As adversaries in this particular fight they will have the Saudi Arabian driver Abdullah Saleh Alsaif and the Kuwaiti Mshari Al-Thefiri, also driving a Can Am Maverick.

But the Baja Portalegre 500 also decides the absolute title of the FIA Bajas Cross Country European Cup. A competition in which Yazeed Al Rajhi may also secure the title, but with the duo Krzysztof Holowczyc/Lukasz Kurzej (Mini John Cooper Works Rally) pursuing the same goal. The Polish driver has even won two editions of the race organized by the Automóvel Club de Portugal.

Still in relation to the FIA Bajas Cross Country European Cup, the two Spanish duos who are candidates to the T3 category title are registered: Santi Navarro/Marc Solá and Jesus Fuster.

Among the cars, also worthy of mention are the Brazilian brothers Cristian and Marcus Baumgart (both in Toyota Hilux); the national champions in title, Tiago Reis/Valter Cardoso (Toyota Hilux) who, in the recent Baja Italia, conquered an excellent 2nd place; as well as for João Ramos/Filipe Palmeiro (Toyota Hilux); the returning drivers Miguel Barbosa (Toyota Hilux Overdrive), Ricardo Porém (Mini Paceman Proto) and Hélder Oliveira (Volkswagen Amarok); but also Pedro Dias da Silva (VW Amarok), Alejandro Martins (Mini Cooper John Works Rally), André Amaral (Ford Ranger), among others.

A final reference to two curious entries: André Villas Boas's, with the soccer coach at the wheel of a Toyota Hilux, and Andrea Lafarja's, an advertising businesswoman from Paraguay, also known for her participation in the Dakar, who will line up at the wheel of a Borgward BX7 DKR.

 

 173 motorcycle entries

No less than 173 motorcycle riders are signed up for the 35th edition of Baja Portalegre 500, including the "Promotions & Hobby" and "Mini Baja" categories, with a total of 25 youngsters between 10 and 16 years old. An impressive number, even when compared to the last Dakar, which was limited to 103 participants.

The two candidates to the National Off-Road Championship OPEN 2021 title, António Maio (Yamaha WR450F) and Gustavo Gaudêncio (Honda 250R), are just two of the names that stand out in the extensive entry list, besides the German Sebastian Bühler (Hero 450 Rally) winner of the last three editions of Baja Portalegre 500, Luís Oliveira (Yamaha WR450) also winner of the race, Mário Patrão (KTM EXC 450) who, like António Maio, has six times climbed to the top of the podium, among many other pilots.

 
31 registrations in quads

Among the quads, 31 pilots accepted the challenge of Baja Portalegre 500, with highlight to Luís Engeitado and Luís Fernandes (both on Yamaha YFZ450R), who will fight for the absolute title of the National Off-Road Championship OPEN 2021. João Vale (Suzuki LTR450) is another candidate for victory and there is also the curious participation of three pilots from Saudi Arabia.

99 SSV at the start of the race

The popularity of the spectacular and competitive SSVs does not stop growing and proving it are the 99 teams registered for the 35th edition of Baja Portalegre 500.

Next Friday, João Dias, accompanied by João Filipe (Bombardier Can-Am Maverick) will be the first SSV to hit the road, he who, in 2020, won the Baja Portalegre 500 and the FIM Bajas World Cup "title".

In a list with almost one hundred entries, there are also many renowned drivers, such as Gonçalo Guerreiro, Alexandre Pinto, Vítor Santos, Roberto Borrego, Lourenço Rosa, Pedro Grancha, the brothers Pedro and Manuel Mello Breyner, Nuno Fontes, João Monteiro, Cristiano Batista, Marco Pereira, Hélder Rodrigues, among others.

A reference, also, to the six times national rally champion, Armindo Araújo, who debuts driving an SSV at Baja Portalegre 500, after previous experiences on motorcycles and cars.

Automatic translation from the official press release
Photos Rally-Raid Network
 

 

 

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