What once began as a tourist attraction is now the most famous and demanding rally in the world.
The Rally Monte Carlo is not only the oldest event in the WRC calendar, but is also considered the world’s most respected and prestigious rally. Every driver would like to win the ‘Monte’ once in the course of their career. A triumph in the principality is almost on a par with being crowned world champion.
Glitz and glamour.
The principality provides a special backdrop for the world championship. Surrounded by the glitz and glamour of the huge yachts, the service park has a unique position in the heart of the port. The start to the WRC season could hardly be more electrifying!
To get the best possible picture of the conditions that can be expected, the drivers are happy to rely on the help of their ‘ice spies’ who set off along the route before the official start of a special stage and relay their observations and assessments back to the teams. But all of this is no help at all if the spectators shovel new snow onto the route of the special stages just before the participants arrive, as is common at the ‘Monte’ – an ice-cold surprise for the drivers who end up skidding all over the place to the delight of the fans. It’s all part of the Rally Monte Carlo.
Although Sébastien Loeb has thus far racked up five victories, one name in particular is deeply connected with the Monte: Walter Röhrl. The man from Regensburg in Germany has achieved a feat which remains unparalleled, namely that of winning the rally four times with four different vehicles: in 1980 with the Fiat 131 Abarth, in 1982 with the Opel Ascona 400, one year later with the Lancia Rally 037 and the season after that with the Audi quattro A2. ‘Whoever wins here is the greatest,’ says the former world champion, underlining the significance of this unique rally.
Rallye Monte Carlo kicks off on 15th January 2014.