In order to fight the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, the Organizing Committee of the 89th Monte-Carlo Rally – in agreement with the FIA, the Promoter of the World Rally Championship (WRC) and all the local Authorities involved – has decided to allow no spectator whatsoever on and around the event. It will then be organized behind closed doors, as was the case in Turkey and Sardinia at the end of the previous season.
The sanitary rules of the departments involved will be respected, as well as the medical and sporting regulations, and strict control of the starting and finishing areas of the special stages will be enforced, as well as the service park and the regrouping areas. There will be no spectator area along the stages.
The schedule of the event have also been reorganized, in order to respect scrupulously the curfew in force. So after three days of recce, from Monday January 18 to Wednesday January 20, the 84 crews allowed to participate to the rally will start from Gap, where the kick-off of the 89th Monte-Carlo Rally will be given Thursday January 21 from 1:10 pm onwards at Fontreyne Service Park. The menu of this first day & night leg consists of two special stages for a total timed section of 41.36km in the departments of Hautes-Alpes and Isère: « Saint-Disdier / Corps » (SS1 – 20.58km – 2:08 pm) in the Dévoluy area, then « Saint-Maurice / Saint-Bonnet » (SS2 – 20.78km – 3:06 pm) in the Valgaudemar area, will serve as revealing previews of other difficulties to come in the next three days..
On Friday January 22, crews will be heading west of Gap for Race Day 2, spread over two departments (Hautes-Alpes and Drôme) for a total timed section of 104.70km. With a loop of three remote special stages to run twice in a row, this will certainly be the toughest day of the rally, on unchartered territory: three novel stages called « Aspremont / La Bâtie-des-Fonts » (SS3/6 – 19.61km – 6:10 am/12:17 pm), « Chalancon / Gumiane » (SS4/7 – 21.62km – 7:28 am/1:38 pm) and « Montauban-sur-l’Ouvèze / Villebois-les-Pins » (SS5/8 – 22.24km – 09:01 am/Cancelled), all of this amounting to a very demanding 2nd leg!
The next day, on Saturday January 23, crews will be heading east of Gap for Race Day 3 and a total timed section of 57.10km which promises to be just as tough as the previous days. It will all start with « La Bréole / Selonnet » (SS9 – 18.31km – 6:30 am) followed by a stage inaugurated last January, « Saint-Clément / Freissinières » (SS10 – 20.48km – 08:18 am). After one last break at Gap/Fontreyne Service Park, in the start of the afternoon, the last stage of the day will be again « La Bréole / Selonnet » (SS11 – 18.31km – 12:08 pm). All remaining crews will then head for the Principality of Monaco where they will be expected middle in the afternoon… without any service allowed !
The final leg of this 110th anniversary edition, on the morning of Sunday January 24, four special stages for a total of 54.48 km will be organized, for the first 50 classified, without service, in the hills of the North-West of the Alpes-Maritimes and the South-East of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence departments. This couple of loops will be a premiere for a WRC finale at Monte-Carlo Rally, but they will be set on stages well known by rally fans : two passes in each of the following stages : « Puget-Théniers / La Penne » (SS12/14 – 12.93km – 08:30 am / 10:45 am) followed by « Briançonnet / Entrevaux » (SS13/15 – 14.31km – 10:08 am / 12:18 pm) where the second pass will count as a Power Stage, with bonus points at the end…
Monaco, January 16, 2021