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27 Apr 2013

1991: ERC conquers Portugal

Category: ERC, Miscellaneous, News Posted 27.04.13 13:07 by

Before Montalegre, where this weekend Rd2 of RallycrossRX will be run, it was Lousada who hosted for many a year the ERC rounds of Portugal. Here a short review of the inaugural Portuguese European round in 1991.


The 1991 FIA European Rallycross Championship series started on a high note by attracting a massive 25,000 spectators in its first ever appearance in Portugal. The large numbers who watched Saturday practice got more than they had expected when “Mister Rallycross” Martin Schanche rolled his Ford RS200 and created a long night of work for a united team of Norwegian mechanics.

Despite the car being less than 100% Schanche was fastest in the second and third heats to take the pole position for the A final. Briton Steve Palmer took the outside of the front row, even though his compatriot Will Gollop had been fastest in the first qualifying heat. Schanche lead the pack to the first corner, chased hard by Gollop who was caught out by the leaders early braking at the turn and spun the BiTurbo Metro by locking his own brakes. From that point on there threat to Schanche’s supremacy as he led home Palmer and the late Thor Holm, the flamboyant Norwegian working hard after the power steering failed in his Group B car.

Two fastest times in qualifying saw Swede Kenneth Hansen on pole for the Division 1 A final. Hansen led the race from the start, the action coming as the two Norwegians Bjørn Skogstad and Eivind Opland clashed before the second corner, “Skogie” crashing into retirement with bodywork and suspension damage. The intrepid, Norwegian Steinar Jøranli was the only non-Cossie driver to make the A final on a day when Swedish new boys Michael Jernberg and the late Christer Bohlin impressed by qualifying for the main event.


  • 1. Martin Schanche (N) Ford RS200 E2
  • 2. Steve Palmer (GB) MG Metro 6R4
  • 3. Thor Holm (N) Ford RS200 E2
  • 4. Rob Gibson (GB) MG Metro 6R4
  • 5. Pekka Rantanen (FIN) Ford RS200 E2
  • 6. Will Gollop (GB) MG Metro 6R4 BiTurbo
  • 1. Kenneth Hansen (S) Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
  • 2. Eivind Opland (N) Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
  • 3. Steinar Jøranli (N) Opel Kadett GSi 16V
  • 4. Michael Jernberg (S) Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
  • 5. Christer Bohlin (S) Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
  • 6. Bjørn Skogstad (N) Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth