17 - 22 Jan 12
Categories:WRC, SWRC, PWRC
Based:Valence and Monaco
Surface:Mountainous asphalt, susceptible to ice and snow
Most Recent Winner:Sebastien Loeb (2012)
Rallye Monte-Carlo has defined not only the history of rallying, but also the history of motorsport as a whole. The very word ‘rally’ derives from what used to happen in Monte-Carlo: competitors would set off from all four corners of Europe and ‘rally’, in other words, meet, in Monaco to celebrate the end of a unique event.
This year is particularly significant, as it marks the return of the event to the world championship roster for the first time since 2008. To mark the event’s 80th running, organisers, the Automobile Club de Monaco, have created a route harking back to the traditions of yesteryear with a demanding itinerary that stretches over six days and covers 430 competitive kilometres, 20 per cent more than the centenary rally in 2011.
As in 2008, the event will get underway with a ceremonial start in the city of Valence, the capital of the Drome region, on Tuesday 17 January. Valence is located almost 400 kilometres north of Monaco, where the finish will take place on Sunday 22 January with the traditional prize-giving ceremony at the Place du Palais.
Before then the first competitive action takes place on Wednesday 18 January with two runs over the Le Moulinon-Antraigues and Burzet-St Martial stages split by service at the Parc des Expositions in Valence.
On Thursday, three repeated stages will run in the Ardeche and Haute Loire regions of France, Labatie d’Andaure-Laborel, St Bonnet le Froid-St Bonnet Le Froid and Lamastre-Alboussiere, again split by a visit to the Valence service park.
Crews will begin the journey south to Monaco on Friday through the Drome region where they will tackle the Jean en Royans-Font d’Urle, Vassieux Cemetery-Col de Gaudissart and Montauban sur Ouveze-Egalayes stages prior to reaching Monaco on Friday evening.
Following a morning of rest and recuperation, the action on Saturday is contained in the Alpes Maritimes and consists of two runs of the classic Moulinet-La Bollene Vesubie and Lantosque-Luceram stages with the second passes taking place under the cover of darkness.
A 5.2-kilometre run from Sainte Agnes to Col de la Madone forms Rallye Monte-Carlo’s first Power Stage and brings the event to a close on Sunday morning.