- After Thursday evening’s glamorous Monte-Carlo start in Casino Square, two tough stages in darkness in the Alps punctuate the run up to Gap.
- Two loops of three tests north of the town form a compact but lengthy Friday, which contains 160km of against-the-clock action.
- Equally gruelling third leg on Saturday features five more stages near Gap, before the last service of the rally there and a long journey back to Monaco.
- Sunday’s finale, as is traditional, runs in the Alpes Maritimes mountains above the Principality and features two passes over the legendary Col de Turini.
- Essentially an asphalt rally but unpredictable mountain weather brings varied conditions.
- Competitors must expect snow, ice and dry asphalt - often encountering all in the same stage.
- They must balance the need for grip in winter weather with that required for dry asphalt.
- Shrewd tyre selection providing the best compromise for frequently changing conditions is key.
- Experience and the ability to ‘read’ conditions is vital.
- Asphalt suspension.
- Wacky tyre selections which can include studded tyres on opposite corners of the car, matched with dry weather rubber. Two spare tyres is normal.
- Additional light pods for Thursday’s night stages.
- Rallye Monte-Carlo is the WRC’s jewel in the crown and the oldest in the calendar.
- First run in 1911, it was designed to promote Monte-Carlo as a tourist destination, with competitors starting from different European cities before gathering in Monaco.
- The 1966 rally became famed for its controversial outcome when giant-killing Mini Coopers claimed the top three places before being disqualified for alleged infringements of headlight regulations.
What’s new for 2017
- More than 85 per cent of the route will be new compared to 2016. No service on Sunday morning. The final opportunity to tweak cars wil
- l be in Gap on Saturday afternoon, with a tyre fitting zone in Monaco before Sunday’s action.
- Sunday afternoon’s live TV Power Stage will offer bonus points to the five fastest drivers for the first time.
- The 2017 World Rally Cars! It’s the first opportunity to see the more powerful, bigger and more aggressive new-era cars on the stages.
- Col de Turini. One of the sport’s iconic locations, where enormous crowds will gather to watch competitors cross the mountain summit in the La Bollene Vesubie – Peira Cava test in the final leg. An incredible atmosphere and a ‘must-do’ for visitors.
- Sunday’s finish outside the Palace in Monaco, with monarch Prince Albert presenting the prizes.