The French Alps always provide a stunning backdrop to the season-opener, but at the same time they can bring fickle conditions ready to catch out cars and crews in the blink of an eye.
This week, the forecast looks to be favouring the teams, with no precipitation expected on the four-day route and plenty of dry asphalt lying in wait.
Toksport Škoda driver and defending WRC2 champion Andreas Mikkelsen said he encountered little snow and ice in the mountains high above his Monaco home on Monday’s recce.
“We saw [almost] nothing on the first day of the recce, no snow or ice. In Sisteron there was some, but heading south I don’t think there’s much – it’s getting warmer down there [towards the south French coast].”
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M-Sport Ford star Craig Breen said the dry roads weren’t what many expected but suggested they would be welcomed for the first fixture in the WRC’s all-new Rally1 hybrid era.
“It’s a bit out of character for the Monte,” he said. “People associate this event with the changeable conditions, with the ice and the snow.
“But when we have so much new stuff going on with the cars, maybe it’s quite nice to get the season started with a rally that’s a little bit more straightforward.
“There’s not much in the forecast at all, but we’ve seen in the past that that can change very quickly. The landscape is still fantastic though – it’s amazing scenery around here.”
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