Rally Portugal to water night stages

Autosport

The organisers of the Rally of Portugal will water Thursday night's three dark stages in an effort to contain the dust problem on this fourth round of the World Rally Championship.

Dark stages on warm gravel rallies have historically caused problems with hanging dust and when the Acropolis Rally included one night-time test last year, the WRC crews were up in arms, accusing the Greek organisers of putting their safety at risk. There were fears the same would happen on the stages just south of Ourique inland from the Algarve coast tomorrow night.

An event insider said: "There hasn't been a lot of rain in these areas, so the dust is going to be a problem and we don't want this. We will send some water trucks through the stage to keep the dust away."

The event starts in Lisbon with a street stage at 14.30 tomorrow, with the crews heading into the gravel at 20.19 for the first of three stages totaling 20 miles.

May's Acropolis Rally will not run a dark stage this year, but it will include longer days - with stages on Thursday, Friday and Saturday running after 19.00 in the evening.

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