But, with the attention now turning to Portugal for this weekend’s event, Volkswagen tell us they are pulling out all stops to get back in the winner’s circle.
The event has been a happy hunting ground for Volkswagen in recent times and the team even managed to claim all three podium positions at the event last year.
Volkswagen driver Sebastian Ogier says he’s looking forward to again tackling the mostly hard, dry clay surface that dominates the Rally Portugal route.
“I feel ready for Portugal. The rally is a very special one for me. It was there that I claimed my first WRC victory – a milestone in my career. I have enjoyed more success there than at any other rally.
“If I win this year’s Rally Portugal, I can actually draw level with the great Markku Alén, who won this rally five times. That gives me extra motivation, although I will not be thinking of that during the rally.
“What makes the rally so special are the Portuguese fans, who support us very enthusiastically. And the Fafe jump on the Power Stage is a spectacular highlight, which helps to make the rally a stand-out event.”
The 2016 WRC Rally Portugal begins on Thursday.