Like in Sweden, three Citroën DS3 WRCs have been entered by the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team for Rally de Portugal.

Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson, winners here in 2012, and Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle will be eligible to score points towards the Manufacturers' standings.

Currently second in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson will be taking part in the second of the four WRC rounds that make up their 2014 programme.

In 1969, the World Rally Championship had yet to be formed. However, the top drivers of the time were already competing in Portugal. In a Citroën DS21, Francisco Romaozinho and 'Jocames' were the first of five local crews to win on home soil.

Since 2003, Citroën has racked up six wins. Initially, success came in the national championship with Armindo Araujo and Miguel Ramalho (Saxo kit car) and then in the WRC, with Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena (C4 WRC) and Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (DS3 WRC).

Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson, at the time rivals of the Citroën crews, also won in Portugal in 2012. They prevailed after Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen were disqualified in their Citroën DS3 WRC, despite leading from the first stage to the last.

In 2007, Rally de Portugal returned to the World Championship calendar. Relocated to the Algarve, it is now one of the most controlled events for the various teams.

Over the years, the route has changed very little. Didier Clément, Chief Operations Engineer for the DS3 WRCs, explained: "It's pretty standard for the gravel rallies in the championship. A car that is quick on gravel will inevitably be competitive in Portugal."

However, one specific factor can change everything, the weather: "Depending on the conditions, the level of grip can go from one extreme to the other. If it rains, the gravel turns to mud and the surface becomes very slippery. Being first on the road then becomes an advantage. If it stays dry, it is very hard on the tyres because wear is a very important aspect. And in that case, it is preferable to set off last."

Rally de Portugal begins on Thursday morning and finishes on Sunday afternoon.