2024 BP Ultimate Rally-Raid: Portuguese smash Prologue – The Checkered Flag

With the BP Ultimate Rally-Raid marking the World Rally-Raid Championship‘s inaugural race in Portugal, those from the country were eager to showcase their skill in front of a global audience. Although Wednesday’s Prologue stage was only four kilometres long, they certainly got to set the tone early.

Portuguese drivers swept the Challenger podium as Luís Portela Morais led Miguel Barbosa and João Dias, while Gonçalo Guerreiro and João Monteiro finished 1–2 in SSV. Another top three run came in Rally3 led by Gonçalo Amaral, though the class was already filled with locals.

In Ultimate, Nasser Al-Attiyah made quick work as his Prodrive Hunter navigated it in three minutes and forty-one seconds, beating Lucas Moraes by six seconds. While the Prologue is relatively inconsequential for the overall as times from it do not count in the bigger picture for FIA categories, it is his second straight win in such a stage after Abu Dhabi and allows him to pick his starting position first. João Ferreira, the top Portuguese in Ultimate, finished fifth.

Al-Attiyah opted to start tenth for Stage #1 later on Wednesday while fellow Prodrive racer Marcos Baumgart will be the first out.

Tosha Schareina beat his Monster Energy Honda Rally Team colleague Adrien Van Beveren in RallyGP while Dakar Rally winner Manuel Andújar topped Quad ahead of Kamil Wiśniewski.

Skyler Howes, another Honda team-mate, will start Stage #1 first among FIM riders.

The National category did not get to race the Prologue because the course, an artificial track set up outside Grândola so that fans could watch, was too severely damaged with ruts from the W2RC classes ahead of them.

Prologue winners

Class Number Competitor Team Time
Ultimate 201 Nasser Al-Attiyah Nasser Racing 3:41
Challenger 316 Luís Portela Morais* GRallyTeam 3:45
SSV 406 Gonçalo Guerreiro* Gonçalo Guerreiro 3:55
Stock 500 Carlos Jorge Mendes* Carlos Jorge Mendes 3:55
RallyGP 68 Tosha Schareina Monster Energy Honda Rally Team 3:29
Rally2 69 Edgar Canet Ardevol* Edgar Canet Ardevol 3:33
Rally3 50 Gonçalo Amaral Gonçalo Amaral 3:41
Quad 174 Manuel Andújar 7240 Team 3:45
Open 700 Johan Senders* Johan Senders 19:27
National N/A N/A N/A N/A
* – Not competing in World Rally-Raid Championship

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