Reigning British Rally Champion Daniel McKenna and co-driver Andrew Grennan head to Portugal this week for the second round of the Junior World Rally Championship, Vodafone Rally de Portugal.
After setting some stunning times on his JWRC debut in Monte Carlo in January, McKenna is eager to produce a good result in Portugal to help his title aspirations. Speaking ahead of the rally McKenna said; “While there was a lot of encouraging things to take from our Monte Carlo performance, the fact we didn’t finish means we have nothing to show for it. Ever since I arrived home from Monte Carlo the focus has been on Portugal. I’ve upped my training, both physically and mentally and so has Andrew, and this has largely been down to getting involved with Declan Brennan Sports Management. The formation of #TeamDaniel and its committee has been a great help too getting additional backing on board for my campaign and has allowed me to put all my energy into preparing for Portugal.”
McKenna plans to complete a pre event test ahead of the rally which begins on Thursday afternoon with a ceremonial start at Guimarães, followed by an evening super special stage at Lousada rallycross circuit. Daniel continues; “I’m looking forward to driving the Citroen DS3 R3T on gravel again and renewing my rivalry from last year with Osian Pryce and Dean Raftery, who both join the championship this weekend. My goal this weekend is to finish and take home as many points as possible to give myself the best possible chance going forward. I have never put in this level of preparation for an event before but I’m competing at a level where I can’t leave anything to chance. If I’m to stay at the sharp end of the JWRC, this is the level I need to be at.”
Friday, the first full day of the rally, sees the crews head north for stages around Ponte de Lima, near the Spanish border. Saturday’s route, the longest of the rally, journeys east for tests near Amarante before three stages on Sunday including the world famous Fafe stage. First held in 1967, Rally de Portugal was one of the founding events of the World Rally Championship.
You can follow Daniel’s progress over the weekend and throughout the season by following him on Twitter @DMKMotorsport and Facebook at Daniel McKenna Rallying or by checking out his website, www.danielmckenna.net