José Megre's account in the book "Aventura 87" helps us understand the spirit of the “1.º Rali Maratona de Portalegre”, which inaugurated a new era in off-road in Portugal and Europe, in April 1987. Today, as then, Baja Portalegre 500 is an overcoming challenge for men and women of all ages.
"A relevant fact in the “1.º Rali Maratona de Portalegre” was the number of entries: 230 in total, with a huge range of people, from the top endurance rider to the veteran rally pilot. Ages from 18 to 50, men and women, with and without any racing experience, both in cars and motorbikes. The vehicles enrolled ranged from the Citroën Mehari and 2 CV to the Ford RS200 (which did not enter), the Peugeot 205 GTI, the Citroën Visa Chrono, passing through normal UMMs and many cars over 15 years old. A real show! And if, on the motorbikes, the winners were the predictable ones, although there was a great fight from start to finish, on the cars, it was only some time after the 1st competitor arrived that it was known who had won the race! A duel of more than 12 straight hours between a two-wheel drive vehicle and two jeeps, one of them completely standard, which ended up winning!", described José Megre.
History will remember the victories of António Bayona and José Costa in cars, with a Mitsubishi Pajero, and of Paulo Marques and Marcos Carvalho, who shared an Aprilia RX 250, something that was allowed in the motorbike race in the first two editions.