For the nostalgics of « Monte-Carlo » of yesteryear!
This 19th edition of Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique distinguishes itself again by the diversity of its itinerary, concocted by the Organizing Committee of Automobile Club de Monaco. As last year – and in order to give a fair chance to every competitor – there will be three averages to keep all along. Remember that this year again; the race is open to cars which participated to the editions of Rallyes Automobiles Monte-Carlo between 1955 and 1980.
The start of this 19th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique will be given on Wednesday 27th January 2016 with the beginning of the administrative and technical controls organized in the different departure cities. The Oslo course (2123 km) will open the ball of the Concentration Leg from 9.30am, followed by those of Glasgow (2043 km) the evening at 6.30pm. At last, the competitors will set forth from Bad Homburg (1240 km / 12.30pm), Barcelona (1138 km / 6pm) and Reims (1002 km / 7pm) on Friday 29th January.
After their long journey, the 300 expected competitors will meet up on Saturday 30th January from 10.10am at the heart of the Gorges and Lakes of Verdon, in Saint-André-les-Alpes. Thereafter they will compete in a first regularity zone (ZR) between two villages of character « Roquesteron – Bouyon / 18.83 km/ 11.38am » in the valley of Estéron.
After a first night of rest in the Principality of Monaco, on Sunday 31st January there will be the start of a Classification Leg, which has been modified in the outlines. « Entrevaux – Ubraye / 18.44 km / 07h55 » with the Col de Félines to cross, remains a true classic for the insiders. On the contrary the stage « Le Chaffaut – Puimichel – Oraison / 33.44 km / 9.40am » makes its appearance in the competition. Then by passing Sisteron, famous for its citadel and fortifications overlooking the city, strategic block on the road leading from the Mediterranean to the Alps. History nod for teams who, further north, will have to battle with two monuments: « Eygalayes – Col du Reychasset – Verclause / 36.41 km / 12.00pm » and « Vassieux-en-Vercors – Col de l’Echarasson – Col de Gaudissart / 24.86 km / 2.45pm ». The last passage control of the day is provided on the side of the nautical base of Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans, before joining the host city, Valence, where the first competitors are expected at the Champ de Mars from 4.30pm.
On Monday February 1st, for the first part of the Common Leg the route will be Ardèche. To start the day, « Le Moulinon – Antraigues-sur-Volane / 36.93 km / 8am » which requires a mandatory stop at the arrival, just like in the old days, in front of the famous Remise – now revamped – by the Jouanny family. Then, direction « Burzet – Saint-Andéol-de-Fourchades / 25,05 km / 9.30am » by the Ray-Pic road. The midday break is scheduled in Saint-Agrève market place where a tasting of regional products generally attracts many people.
Absent since the 2011 centenary edition, the loop « Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid – Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid / 25.48 km / 12pm » marks the return of the Rally in Haute-Loire department in the afternoon. Then to finish with this plentiful day, a passage in « Lamastre – Gilhoc-sur-Ormèze – Plats / 36.71 km / 1.20pm » to run in its identical version of 2015. It became a tradition… even an institution; the return to Valence will be preceded by a stop in Tournon-sur-Rhône, where, as every year, the Quai Farconnet is synonymous with general attraction.
The second part of Common Leg starts on Tuesday 2nd February at dawn with the famous Drôme Provençale stage, « Saint-Nazaire-le-Désert – La Motte-Chalancon / 22.90 km / 7.15am ». Real link between the Hautes-Alpes and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence departments, the stage of « Bréziers – Bayons / 18.33 km / 9.40am » always reserve us its share of surprises. No doubt also that the stage of « Saint-Auban – Gréolières / 30.15 km / 1.05pm », which ends this Common Leg by the Cols de Bleine and those of Castellaras, is not to take lightly. The final check-point before the entry into Parc Fermé in Monaco is scheduled Place-Neuve in La Turbie, early in the afternoon.
To conclude this marathon stage, the Final Leg takes place from the night of Tuesday 2nd to Wednesday 3rd February, with two stages « Sospel – La Bollène-Vésubie / 52.81 km / 10.15pm » and « Lantosque – Lucéram – Coaraze / 47.22 km / 11.35pm », symbols of a last night always complicated to manage for competitors. The first of them are expected at the podium of the Port Hercule in Monaco from 1.50am. The Price Giving Gala Ceremony finally, will take place on the evening of Wednesday 3rd February, in the Salle des Etoiles of the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club. (Evening dress or dark suit required).