2018 Monte-Carlo route revealed
The Automobile Club de Monaco has confirmed details of next year's 86th Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship.
The event will run from 25-28 January from a service base in the town of Gap, which has hosted the rally for the past four years. The planned route is 50% different to this year's and, as usual, follows an itinerary that is unique in the WRC.
After two-and-a-half days of recce from Monday 22 January, competitors will tackle shakedown at 1600hrs on Wednesday on the same 3.35km stage near Gap that has been used for the last couple of years.
Crews will then transfer south to Monaco ready for Thursday's official start in Casino Square from 1800hrs and two night-time stages in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region: Thoard – Sisteron (SS1 - 37.13km) will be run in the reverse direction for the first time while Bayons – Bréziers (SS2 - 25.49km) will be in the same format as 2017.
On Friday, crews will tackle 150km of stages in the Hautes-Alpes, Drôme and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence regions south of Gap. The longest day of the rally comprises two loops of the same three stages: Vitrolles – Oze (SS3/6 - 26.76km), Roussieux – Eygalayes (SS4/7 - 33.63km) and Vaumeilh – Claret (SS5/8 - 15.24km).
The action shifts north of Gap on Saturday, with stages based in the Isère and Hautes-Alpes regions. The leg begins with a double loop consisting of Agnières-en-Dévoluy – Corps (SS9/11 - 29.33km) followed by Saint-Léger-les-Mélèzes – La Bâtie-Neuve (SS10/12 - 16.71km). Crews will then head south again and repeat Thursday's Bayons – Bréziers (SS13 – 25.49km) stage - this time in daylight - before a final visit to the service park and an evening drive back to Monaco.
Sunday's final leg features four stages in the Alpes-Maritimes that total 63.72km and are run without a service. The drivers will go twice through La Bollène-Vésubie – Peïra-Cava (SS14/16 - 18.30km) and La Cabanette – Col de Braus (SS15/17 - 13.56km) which on the second pass will count as the rally-closing live TV Power Stage.
The event wraps up in traditional fashion when winning crews will be welcomed and honoured at the prize giving ceremony in front of Monaco Prince’s Palace from 1500hrs.
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