Rally Monte-Carlo is the oldest rally in the world and the perfect season-opener for the World Rally Championship. Although the rally is completely different now than when it was born in 1911.
The January conditions in the Southern Alps provide a challenge like no other on the WRC calendar. Ice and snow cover sections of the mountain pass asphalt roads provide constantly changing levels of grip.
It is typical for crews to start a stage with perfectly dry asphalt conditions only to encounter snow-covered roads further into the same stage. As they skirt up and down the Cols, tyre choice and understanding the current road condition is of key importance.
Each competitor has an ice-note crew that travels through the stages before they close to ensure the most appropriate tyres are selected. They also provide up-to-date road condition details to improve pacenote descriptions throughout each stage.
Rally Monte-Carlo is also famous for its traditional start and finish in Monaco. When you see the latest high-spec rally cars parked in Casino Square you know it is time to begin a new chapter of the WRC.
Due to 2021’s unique circumstances, the WRC skipped its Monaco start but the rally still finished on Monaco’s famous harbour.
While organised by Automobile Club de Monaco, Rally Monte-Carlo is based over 200 kilometres away in Gap, France. The majority of stages are located around Gap before the rally finishes with two stages closer to Monte-Carlo. The most famous being Col de Turini.
Gap-born Sebastien Ogier won his record-breaking eighth Rally Monte-Carlo in 2021, beating Sebastien Loeb’s record of seven victories. Tommi Makinen, Walter Rohrl, Sandro Munari, and Jean Trevoux have all won the rally four times.