Promoted to the rank of Renault Sport Rally Team works driver thanks to his win in last year’s Clio R3T European Trophy, a title he claimed after a thrilling battle at the 2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo, Michael Burri made it to the end of the Vodafone Rally de Portugal. This very demanding event saw many retirements throughout the three days, whereas the Renault Sport Rally Team crew overcame the various obstacles with determination. Michael Burri and Anderson Levratti produced a solid performance to secure a seventh-placed finish, the perfect foundation on which to improve gradually throughout the season.
"We’re pleased with the outcome of this Rally de Portugal," confirmed Sylvain Alanore, Renault Sport Rally Team Manager. "Both the car and the crew were very reliable. Michael had a clean race, from start to finish. He was determined and improved throughout the weekend. He adopted a cautious approach, a strategy that paid off and which helped us to pick up a few positions. We were never really fighting at the front, but that wasn’t the aim here. The most important thing was to establish a solid base at the start of our working relationship, whilst scoring some important points. We’re going to continue to support Michael as he adapts to taking part in the world championship."
Michael Burri was also pleased with his weekend. "Getting the car to the finish, without making any mistakes is the first result," commented the Swiss driver. "I had a lot of things to get to grips with this weekend : the course itself, working with my new team and it was three years since I had last competed in a gravel rally. Being so far down the starting order meant we had to contend with roads that were broken up and full of pot holes. On Saturday, we also had thick fog, which was not the case for all the crews. Having said all that, the Clio R3T was entirely reliable and Renault Sport gave me a car in which I felt confident, and we had a perfect team work with Anderson. We were able to try a number of set-up options in order to see what suited us best. All the experience gathered here will be very useful for our forthcoming outings in the WRC 3."
The next event on the Renault Sport Rally Team programme is Rally Poland, held on 1-3 July.