The 2022 Vodafone Rally de Portugal is the upcoming WRC Rally Championship race scheduled between May 19-22, 2022, and is one of the most anticipated races FIA World Rally Championship 2 (WRC2) class.
This article will look over the upcoming race and provide an analysis of what to expect to happen this week so you can place your bets against the WRC Odds.
2022 Vodafone Rally de Portugal Analysis and Preview | WRC Betting
Suninen Could Impress At Vodafone Rally de Portugal
Vodafone Rally de Portugal is set to take place on May 19-22, and it will mark the fourth round of the WRC Rally Championship. Moreover, it will mark the first outing of Hyundai Motorsport N in the WRC2 class, making it a race no rally fan should miss.
The event will feature two Hyundai i20 N Rally 2 cars, run by the RedGrey Team, meaning that the Finnish crew of Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula will return to compete following an impressive performance in Rally de España.
There they placed second in class in their debut with the car, and if their performance is any indication, the Finns should be in the mix to win it all in Portugal.
Joining the duo is Fabrizio Zaldivar and his co-driver Carlos del Barrio, who will seek their first win of the season.
“Rally de Portugal is one of the most legendary events on the calendar. It’s relatively fast but still quite a technical gravel rally,” said Suninen.
“It is a bit like a sprint: you have to go flat out, but on the second loop, it is critical to look after your tyres at the same time, as it can get a bit rough in places.”
Even though this will mark his first time with Hyundai i20 N on a Rally 2 gravel race, Suninen should be able to do some serious damage. That is assuming he can find the right rhythm with the car.
Mikkelsen Is The Man To Watch
But even though Suninen should be in the mix for a strong finish, it’s hard to look past Andreas Mikkelsen as the main favorite to win the race. The Norwegian rally driver has been phenomenal so far this season, and there’s little to suggest he can’t win in Portugal.
The 32-year-old finished third here in 2015 and placed second in 2016. He has since never finished inside the top three, but that might change this week. That’s not necessarily because he has been posting solid results in Portugal over his last trips, but rather because of Mikkelsen’s exceptional form.
The Volkswagen driver kicked off the 2022 season by winning the Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo, and he claimed another victory at Rally Sweden. He didn’t win in the season’s third race in Croatia, but Mikkelsen did not attend the race, meaning he is technically unbeaten.
Admittedly, the Portugal Rally will introduce a whole new set of challenges, but Mikkelsen has proven to be a solid driver on similar tracks, making him the clear favorite to come out on top and secure his third W of the WRC Rally 2 season and take one step closer to defending his WRC2 title, which he claimed with three race wins and two runner-up finishes.