The Automobile Club de Monaco has revealed the details of the 2014 edition of the Rally Monte-Carlo, which features a substantially modified route and a return to the ‘Hautes-Alpes’ Department and some special events hosted by the city of Gap.
After three days of recce, from Saturday 11th to Monday 13th January, this week will be a real marathon for the 80 competitors allowed to take part at the event. First update on the program: the return of the traditional departure ceremony in Monte Carlo (which will be held Place du Casino) on Tuesday 14 January in the early afternoon.
Then, on Wednesday 15 January, the small town of Chateauvieux, located 6km south of Gap, will host the shakedown, on a 3.6km road which will be fairly representative of the whole route. Certainly, this new format is expected to surprise many competitors; at a time of the year when the High Alpine climate is severe, generally colder and drier than anywhere.
The beginning of the competition will start on Thursday 16 January with the first loop of three special stages: Orpierre – Saint André de Rosans (25.53km), Rosans – Sainte Marie – La Charce (18.00km) and Montauban sur l’Ouvèze – Col du Perty – Laborel (19.37km). Competitors will run the same loop, once again in the afternoon after a stop, at mid-day, at the Service Park located near Gap’s nautical stadium.
The second day, Friday 17 January, will begin with two legendary classic tests of the Rallye Monte-Carlo: Vitrolles – Col D’Espreaux – Faye (49.25km) and Selonnet – Col des Garcinets – Breziers (22.75km). Ten years ago, these two stages eliminated many contenders for the final victory as the road conditions were extreme! At mid-day, the competitors will return one last time to the Service Park before heading south for a well-earned return in the Principality of Monaco. To arrive there, they will have to overcome, for the second time, the challenge of Vitrolles – Col D’Espreaux – Faye (49.25km), a run over the Sisteron – Col de Fontbelle – Thoard (36.70km) and finally dispute Digne – Col de Corobin – Chaudon Norante (19.60km) by night.
The final leg, on Saturday 18 January, will allow the competitors to discover the hinterland of Nice with two loops of two stages, one by day and the other by night. The program for this final leg is: La Bollène Vésubie – Col de Turini – Moulinet (23.61km) and the Sospel – Col de Brouis – Breil sur Roya (16.69km).
The 82nd Rallye Monte Carlo will end on Sunday 19 January with the traditional awards ceremony on the square of the Prince’s Palace in Monaco.