24 - 27 Jan 08
Based:Valence and Monte Carlo
Most Recent Winner:Sebastien Loeb (2008)
Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo is the oldest event in the WRC calendar and the longest running event in all rally sport. It can trace its roots back to 1911 when the first of the marathon pan-European rallies that finished in the Principality of Monaco was held.
These days the rally name is something of a misnomer because very little of the event is actually based in Monte Carlo. While it ends with a spectacular Superspecial stage on part of Monaco's Formula 1 circuit, the majority of the rally is based hundreds of kilometres away in Valence, within easy reach of the twisty mountain roads of the Vercors and Ardeche regions of France. The rally is famous for its narrow asphalt mountain roads and a tricky mix of weather and road conditions. Cold temperatures in the mountains mean patches of ice and snow are never far away and with tyre choices made sometimes hours before stages are run, drivers who can tackle dry asphalt and ice on the same rubber have the upper hand. Experience counts here, and drivers with a good understanding of the specialist conditions can be a serious threat to the established WRC stars.
The event is the only four-day rally in the WRC. It starts on Thursday evening with stages run in darkness, and remains based in Valence for Friday and Saturday. The whole show re-locates to Monaco on Sunday - enabling drivers to tackle the legendary snowy roads of the Turini region in the Alpes Maritimes.