Rally fans in their hundreds braved heavy rain to cheer the competing crews over the starting ramp in central Curitiba this afternoon.
Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle, last year’s winners in their Peugeot UK-backed 207 Super 2000, were the first pair to drive over the ramp where
they were greeted by Gabriele Tarquini, who is in Curitiba to contest the World Touring Car Championship event.
They were followed by Brazil’s only full-time Intercontinental Rally Challenge regular Daniel Oliveira, who is being partnered on this event by Frenchman Denis Giraudet.
Meeke, from Northern Ireland, said: “It’s great to be back and hopefully we can repeat our win from last year, that’s certainly what we’re going to set out to do.”
One driver who enjoyed a particularly enthusiastic response from the crowd was Brazilian Paulo Nobre, who will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX alongside navigator Edu Paula.
“It is special to do this rally as a Brazilian,” said Nobre. “It won’t be easy but I hope to be in the top six at the finish.”