Baja Portalegre 500: Nuno Matos super motivated for the biggest  challenge of the season

Baja Portalegre 500: Nuno Matos super motivated for the biggest challenge of the season

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In less than two weeks the most important race of the Portuguese calendar will be on the road.  From 24 to 26 of October, the legendary race tracks of Portalegre will once again be alive with the sound of hundreds of racing vehicles, many fighting for the victory in their respective classes, but many more just for the simple pleasure of racing in the most iconic event of the season.  2019 Baja Portalegre edition is expected to be one of the most participated in the last years, and among the huge entry list is also is Rally-Raid Network official partner Nuno Matos and his new codriver Joel Lutas.

Baja Portalegre is the final round of the Portuguese cross-country rally championship for cars, but also for motorbikes, quads and SSV.  It will also be the closing round of FIA Baja World Cup.  All main titles of all these competitions have yet to be decided, what makes for this year's edition a particularly interesting one.

Nuno Matos will be racing on his FIAT Fullback Proto and is considered one of the main candidates to the top places. "Racing in Portalegre is always special. The support from the public is fantastic, not only for me because I'm from here, but also for all the other drivers. There is a different atmosphere in the days the race takes place. Here we can say the world stops for Baja Portalegre.  
I'm racing Baja Portalegre for more than two decades.  All of the participations with countless stories to tell and that left me with great memories.   There are two particular editions I remember: The first one was back in 2010, when we confirmed the title of winners of the FIA T2 World Title; The second one is the 2016 edition, when we finally conquered the Portuguese overall title.  These were two unforgettable years."
said the Portuguese driver.

Nuno Matos will be racing Baja Portalegre 2019 with a new co-driver. On the last race his co-driver Pedro Marcão felt sick and the team was forced out of the race. After this unfortunate event, and under Pedro's suggestion, Nuno got a new co-driver for this race.  "I will have Joel Lutas as my-codriver, a young guy  to who I thank for accepting my invitation.  We will make our debut together in a racing context in the most amazing race, with a very strong field both national and FIA. We will be side by side with the best.  But we are on the same page and we will give our best to drive fast, give a good show to the crowd and fight for the top places." told Matos.

As for Joel Lutas, this is a new and important step for his career.  Above all a long time fan of the sport, Lutas will leave the Airbus cockpit where he usually spends his days to join in Matos inside the cockpit of the FIAT Fullback: "I feel very proud for the invitation I've received from Nuno Matos and for the trust he deposited on myself to replace Pedro Marcão on "his" race.  I will do my best to help him to conquer the best possible result."

The competitive action takes place over a super special of 5.35km and a selective section of 99.22km on Friday, October 25th before competitors tackle further timed off-road tests of 191.75km and 211.78km on Saturday, October 26th.


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