The 1988 World Championship really hotted up as the action moved to Portugal for the Port Wine Rally. Cesare Fiorio's team were debuting the new Lancia Integrale featuring more power, longer travel suspension and wider tyres. But the opposition was getting more competitive - Mazda had Hannu Mikkola and Ingvar Carlsson, Ford Stig Blomqvist, Didier Auriol and Carlos Sainz, and Volkswagen had Erwin Weber. Lancia fielded Markku Alen, Miki Biasion and Mikael Ericsson. Revised safety measures ensured spectators would leave the drivers to concentrate on the terrain whilst there was every reason to engage in a full battle for championship points.