“That was close…”

Applause and high-fives to all who finished the 82nd edition of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, by all accounts one of the most trying in its illustrious history. The sheer determination and bravery shown by Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia was also displayed by Veit Konig/Andreas Schwalie (the final crew to finish this year’s event), but of course the pace was vastly different. The weather played havoc with tyre choices, the rainfall turned the already sludgy roads into slimy and slippery tracks and the snow and ice caught many unawares. To still drive a rally car at high speeds, I take my hat off to all finishers.

Here is a collection of moments we at Handbrakes & Hairpins have called the “That was close…” We by no means wish to offend any drivers, but merely illustrate the awful weather and its consequences for our favourite rally crews.

Highly experienced Mikko Hirovnen/Jarmo Lehtinen (M-Sport World Rally Team) had a difficult time of the stages too. This must certainly rank as a heart-stopping moment…

Leading for much of the event, and flying the flag for privateer rally drivers the world over, Bryan Bouffier and co-driver Xavier Panseri (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) pushed beyond their limits and were nearly caught out in SS9…

Even rally winners Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Motorsport) were lucky to have escaped a number of close calls…

Mads Ostberg/Jonas Andersson on their debut for the Citroën TOTAL World Rally Team survived a few scary moments in their CS3 WRC machine. This was one that could have ended badly were it not for Mads fast reflexes and car-control…

Rally spectators are a friendly and helpful bunch. When a competitor spears off the road, fans flock to the stricken car to get it back onto the road. But, what if all the fans had their hands in their pockets or filming a crew struggling to get going again? Here are Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (Volkswagen Motorsport) struggling to get the spectators at a popular corner to assist in getting them back into the fight…