It’s the sport’s longest-standing fixture and canvases some of the most beautiful terrain in Europe. From Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd, the 85th edition of the famous Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo will test the drivers’ skills, nerves and determination as well as their cars in 17 high speed stages through the lower Alps and the French Riviera.
Following two and a half days of reconnaissance, the Round 1 of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship will officially begin at 6.15pm on the Thursday in Monaco’s Casino Square with two night stages: Entrevaux-Val de Chalvagne-Ubraye and Bayons-Bréziers. Drivers will then be pushed to the limit during the following day - the longest in the competition - as the teams head north of Gap for 160km of intense driving in the Hautes-Alpes and Isère: Agnières en Dévoluy-Le Motty, Aspres lès Corps-Chaillol and Saint Léger les Mélèzes-Ancelle-La Bâtie Neuve. On the third day will feature a new version of the loop of Lardier et Valença-Oze and La Bâtie Monsaleon-Faye, which will both be run twice, and a second drive along Bayons-Bréziers before the final servicing in Gap. The final day of racing will see another four stages in which teams will twice contest on the Luceram-Col Saint Roch and La Bollène Vésubie-Peira Cava, which itself was a replica of the famous Col de Turini see in 2016.
All in all, the route created by the Automobile Club de Monaco is vastly different - 85% - to last year’s race and is set to be a gruelling four days of hardcore racing. The prizing-giving ceremony, however, will take place as tradition dictates at 3pm in front of the Monaco Palais Princier.