New look for 2019 Monte-Carlo

Next season’s Rallye Monte-Carlo (24 - 27 January) will adopt a more compact format than in previous years with added focus on its Alps base in Gap.

The remodelled four-day event introduces several new speed tests in a route that is 40 per cent different from this season’s encounter, while Monaco’s Thursday evening Casino Square start ceremony switches to the centre of Gap.

That leads directly into two late evening special stages, so often the cause of huge drama in previous seasons. La Bréole / Selonnet and Avançon / Notre-Dame-du-Laus are both new, running for 20km each in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Hautes-Alpes regions.

Friday is a long and difficult leg. The route journeys south-west of Gap for 124.38km of stages, with two loops of three tests tackled twice.

The opening 20km Valdrôme / Sigottier is followed by the 24km Roussieux / Laborel and Curbans / Piégut, an 18km stage not tackled for many years.

Saturday’s route is north of the town and comprises a double pass over the familiar Agnières-en-Dévoluy / Corps, at almost 30km the longest of the weekend, and Saint-Léger-les-Mélèzes / La Bâtie-Neuve. After a final service in Gap, competitors make the long journey south to Monaco.

Sunday’s finale is identical to this year, comprising two passes over two tests in the mountains above the Principality, with no opportunity for service.

La Bollène-Vésubie / Peïra-Cava includes the legendary Col de Turini while La Cabanette / Col de Braus will form the rally-closing Power Stage. The 16 stages cover 322.81km.

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