The 26th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique promises, one more time, to be a remarkable event, thanks to the diversity and authenticity of its route, starting with the comebacks of Glasgow and Milano as starting cities. This 2024 edition will be as seductive as it was wished by the Organizing Committee at Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), with several Regularity Stages (SR) on the menu where legendary pages of the event were written! Crews will again be fighting for one of the ultimate wins in historic motor racing, trying to replicate the success of Claudio Enz and Cristina Seeberger, the winners in 2023 in a 1970 Lancia Fulvia 1.3 S.
Three days only after the finish of the 92th Monte-Carlo Rally, the crews allowed to take part in the 26th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique will have to face a very selective route as well. As always, the Historic version of the prestigious WRC event will be reserved to older cars having participated in previous editions of the Monte Carlo Rally, from 1911 to 1983.
The start of this 2024 edition will be given on Wednesday January 31, for the Concentration Route initiating in Glasgow. Then, on Thursday February 1, Bad Homburg, Reims and Milano will follow suit, with a common objective: the Principality of Monaco. A rallying point where the first crews are expected on Friday February 2 in the afternoon.
The first timed portions are scheduled as soon as Saturday February 3, for the Classification Leg between Monaco (first crew starting at 7 am) and Valence, the Drôme préfecture and once more a Host-City. With four Regularity Stages to take on, this first race day will not be a stroll in the park, starting with a magnificent stage: « Soleilhas – Castellane / SR1 / 9:50 am », where the final portion looks down on Lac de Chaudanne, followed by « Chaudon-Norante – Digne-les-Bains / SR2 / 11:05 am » via the renowned Col de Corobin (1211m). Then the midday checkpoint will also be set up in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence prefecture, on Tampinet Square, from 11:55 am. Driving back to the Drôme will be the afternoon topic, starting with « Ventavon – Chabestan / SR3 / 1:15 pm » through Col de Faye (922m), followed by the Vercors massif and « La Cîme du Mas – Col Gaudissart / SR4 / 17km / 3:45 pm », including the tricky Col de l’Écharasson (1146m). One last checkpoint is planned at Saint-Jean-en-Royans from 4:35 pm, in order to regulate the crews expected at Champ de Mars in Valence from 5:35 pm.
Ardèche will be on the cards for Sunday February 4, starting at 8 am for Part 1 of the Common Leg. Crews will have to check in Privas at 9 am, before heading for « Lyas – Pourchères / SR5 / 9:20 am », a stage which has not been used since the 90s. Then, on the road section, a traditional pause will take place in front of La Remise, where the Jouanny Family will celebrate its 60 years in style, with a brand new red and white patch of asphalt in front of the legendary restaurant to welcome the competitors. A good way to prepare for a rare version of Burzet, « Freyssenet – Saint-Martial / SR6 / 10:40 am ». The midday pause will happen from 12:10 pm on Place du Marché in Saint-Agrève, where all crews and staff will spend a pleasant time tasting local produce, before taking on « Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid / SR7 / 12:45 pm » followed by « Lalouvesc – Labatie-d’Andaure / SR8 / 1:45 pm ». On the way to Valence (4:20 pm), another tradition will be respected with a popular and festive stop on Quai Farconnet in Tournon-sur-Rhône from 3:30 pm.
Two other massifs, Diois and Baronnies, will host Part 2 of the Common Leg, on Monday February 5, starting at 8 am. On the menu, the first course will be « Valdrôme – La Piarre / SR9 / 10:10 am » via Col de Carabes (1261m), the natural border between the Drôme and Hautes-Alpes departments, followed by « Laborel – Montauban-sur-l’Ouvèze / SR10 / 11:25 am » with Col de Perty (1302m) on the way. The midday pause is scheduled in Buis les Baronnies from 12:40 pm. All remaining crews will then take on « Sainte-Jalle – Rémuzat / SR11 / 1:15 pm », via Col de Soubeyrand (987m) and, last but not least, « Recoubeau-Jansac – Pennes-le-Sec / SR12 / 2:40 pm » through the well-known Col de Pennes (1040m). The last pause of the day, before heading back to Valence (4:50 pm) will happen on Place du Champ de Mars in Crest with a checkpoint from 3:55 pm.
On Tuesday February 6, the start from Valence is scheduled for 7 am. The first stage of Part 3 of the Common Leg will be the famous « Saint-Nazaire-le-Désert – La-Motte-Chalancon / SR13 / 8:35 am », soon followed by « Roussieux – Laborel / SR 14 / 9:50 am » where all crews will have to pass Col de Reychasset (1052m) and Col de Pierre-Vesce (1013m) successively. Then, heading for the Principality of Monaco, the last stage of the day will be « Collongues – Col de Saint-Raphaël / SR15/ 1:35 pm ». And the entering Parc Fermé in Monaco is scheduled from 4:10 pm.
The Final Leg, during the night of Tuesday February 6 to Wednesday 7, will start at 9 pm in Monaco. And two monuments of Monte-Carlo Rally will be on the cards: « Sospel – Col de Turini / SR 16 / 10:15 pm », with a finish line at the top, as in most recent WRC versions, and « La Cabanette – Col de Braus / SR17 / 11:20 pm » passing through Col de L’Orme (1000m) and Col de l’Ablé (1149m). The first crews will be expected on Port Herculis in Monaco around 1 am.
Finally, in keeping with tradition, the Gala Night and Prize Ceremony will happen on the evening of Wednesday February 7 in the prestigious Salle des Etoiles at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club (dark suit).
Monaco, July 28, 2023
Note: Distances and timings provisional until publication of the official route
Just a few days after the end of the Rallye Monte-Carlo WRC, it’s time for the historic version.
The 26th Monte-Carlo Historic Rally will take place from Wednesday 31 January to Wednesday 7 February 2024!
Find out more about the various starting towns: Reims – Bad Homburg – Glasgow – Milan.
Stay tuned for details of the route shortly.
Review 2023 edition:
All is well that ends well. One of the most followed, observed, admired cars of the 25th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, the 1970 Lancia Fulvia 1.3 S, perfectly driven by a very efficient Swiss duo, Claudio Enz and Cristina Seeberger, finally won it. And added a new line to the prize list of the Italian brand in the Principality. It is indeed the fourth victory for a Lancia in the historic version of Rallye Monte-Carlo, after 2002, 2005 and 2018. And each time it was a Fulvia, as in 1972, in the World Rally Championship. It was long after Louis Chiron’s win in 1954, in a Lancia Aurelia, and before the epic of the Stratos, 037 and other Deltas, taking a series of 11 more wins between 1975 and 1992.
Lancia, in this 2023 edition, was all over the entry list, and the fans massed on the roadsides and in the villages could not take their eyes off them. That of the Enz-Seeberger tandem was particularly remarkable, in its red dress with a black hood, as it was the case before, in the heyday. It was also appreciated for its precision in the regularity stages, always at the forefront and well placed for the final victory, picked up in the early hours of Wednesday, when passing the finish line at Col de Turini.
“We didn’t expect such a result, so we’re very happy,” said Enz, 32, in perfect Italian, on the finish podium. “I had a perfect car, a brilliant co-driver, we did what was necessary and everything ended well”, added the Swiss driver, victorious for his 6th participation in the event. He had left Turin, home of Fiat and Lancia, last week with a 28-year-old co-driver who assisted him very well. This makes it 17 victories in total for Lancia in the Principality, including 13 in the Monte-Carlo Rally and four in its historic version.
If one takes a closer look at the final results of this memorable 25th edition, validated Wednesday at noon by Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), we see that variety is all over, with legendary brands everywhere: there are 11 different brands in the first eleven places, and even 12 in the Top 15, because Lancia places three models and Ford two. With a special mention for Porsche, winning five regularity stages out of 16 contested, thanks to four different models.
Of the two Fords ranked in the Top 15, out of 272 entries, there is a Ford Capri 2300 S that Bruno Saby drove for an entire week. Winner in 1988 in a Lancia Delta HF, the very popular Bruno, not stingy with anecdotes, was welcomed as a hero wherever this rally stopped, and it was well-deserved. He also finished 4th overall, out of 232 classified crews, because when such a legendary driver takes part in a Rallye Monte-Carlo, it is not to make up the numbers.
Another former winner, Jean-Claude Andruet, also revived nostalgic memories at the wheel of a superb Alpine-Renault Berlinette, almost the same as the one he took to victory in 1973, just fifty years ago. Because this was indeed a Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, at all levels. The prize-giving ceremony, Wednesday evening from 8:30 pm, could only take place at the Sporting de Monte-Carlo, in the Salle des Etoiles. The Stars Room, like the myriads of stars shining in the eyes of drivers, co-drivers and rally fans, in the cars, along the roads and in all the villages crossed, for a whole week of shared pleasure. Long live 2024!
The last regularity stage (RS16, 22,33km) was like a dessert, like a reward after a week of effort and vigilance at the wheel. It allowed all competitors of the 25th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique to touch the Holy Grail of rally drivers all over the world: driving at night, just for fun and pure pleasure, in this famous Col de Turini which has unleashed passions for so long. It was very cold outside, but once again the marshals of Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) were there, in position, forever faithful, to ensure the safety of 227 competitors until very late at night.
History will remember that an Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV from 1973, an Opel Kadett GTE from 1978 and a Renault 5 Alpine Turbo from 1982 finished tied at first place, just like a perfect final bouquet on the Turini closing night.
And that the Lancia Fulvia N.242 of a Swiss duet, Claudio Enz and Cristina Seeberger, then descended quietly to the port of Monaco to show up at the last time check point and seal its overall victory. A well-deserved victory… pending and subject to the publication of the official final standings, this Wednesday at noon.
The last night of the 25th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique began with a monument, the RS15 between Col de Braus and Lantosque (34.35km). There were indeed some traces of black ice, in Col de Castillon, but not enough to really bother the 227 crews who survived this formidable 2023 edition. A Lancia Fulvia was aiming for overall victory but it was another model of the legendary brand that stood out in this SR15, the Beta Coupé 1800, from 1975, entered by Italians Maurizio Aiolfi and Carlo Merenda. It did better than the BMW 323i of Spaniards Luis Climent Asensio and Victor Buades Castillo, once again at the forefront, with Czechs Jan Schmied and Pavel Kacerovsky in 3rd place, in a 1976 Skoda 130 RS.
Passing on their passion for motorsport to their children is the dream of many passionate dads. Some succeed and sometimes even the student surpasses his master! In the Alfetta GTV N.40 carrying the colors of the Flaujac Foundation, here come the Caminitis, Stefano the father and Pasquale the son, over 10 participations in Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. In real life, the Master is Pasquale (he is a lawyer) but once in the right-hand seat… he becomes the student again and leaves responsibility for the hoop to his kartman of a father!
In the small Autobianchi A112 N.123, an Argentinian crew would not miss the Monegasque meeting for anything in the world. So crossing the Atlantic does not scare them. Here again, for the Lukasiewicz family, Enrique, the father, takes care of the steering wheel, while his son Martin navigates. But perhaps not for very long… There is also a tiny Lotus Élan with which Dr Jacques Roucolle goes from one historic event to another, with his daughter France as a co-driver, to whom he inoculated the virus. This proves that the pool of enthusiasts is not about to dry up!
Another Porsche won a regularity stage in this 2022 edition of Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique on Tuesday, in RS14 (18.45 km), which brings the provisional record of the Stuttgart brand to five wins in this 25th edition, before the grand finale in Col de Turini. After the 911 of last year’s Belgian winners, in RS1, then the 356B of a Finnish couple in RS9, then the 911 Turbo of Perroud-Allais in RS10 and RS12, it was the turn of a 911 SC from 1979, that of Norway’s Soren Jensen and Jakob Knudsen, which took the honors in the very last stage of the Common Leg, on the way back to Monaco. It was the third time in four months that a Monte-Carlo Rally passed through the famous Colle Saint-Michel, after the E-Rally in October and the WRC cars in January. But this time in the other direction, between Thorame-Haute and Le Fugeret.
He left quietly for the heaven of rally co-drivers, last Friday, as the Concentration Leg of the 25th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique ended: Joseph Lambert, a three-time winner of the event (2007 in a Porsche, 2010 and 2012 in an Opel Kadett) was part of the history of the event, and part of the history of rallying in Belgium and especially in Luxembourg, his native country, 73 years ago. In the Principality, he also won the Alternative Energies version, before the E-Rally, alongside Bernard Darniche. To his credit, he also has the Tour de Belgique, the Costa Brava Rally, three times, the Liège-Rome-Liège, the Portugal Historico, the Andalucia Classic, the Asturia Classico, the Spa Rally, the Trophée des Alpes, the Ardennes Roads, the Asturias Rally, etc.
Joseph Lambert then became the ‘master of the roads’ for several beautiful events in which he had taken part before: the Liège-Rome-Liège, the Marathon de la Route, the Classic Spring Roads, the Göhltal Classic, the Ostbelgien Classic in which he traced the route of the 2022 edition. It was the final rally of the year counting for the FIA Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies. His own son Patrick, co-driven by Yves Noelanders, was crowned. The loop was complete. Farewell Joseph!
The result of the RS13 between Montauban-sur-l’Ouvèze and Laborel, an 18.92 km long stage in a beautiful setting, going up and down famous Col de Perty (with a few patches of snow on the way down), did not upset the overall standings for the 25th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. At the end of that stage, the first rows of the results sheet were monopolized by crews that were relatively discreet since the start. With ultimately an arrival in the charming village of Laborel, home of an authentic Museum of Rallye Monte-Carlo. As usual, the welcome was warm and friendly, especially for the winning Spanish crew in a 1981 BMW 323i, Luis Climent Asensio and Victor Buades Castillo. They were more efficient, in this stage, than Frenchmen Etienne Goldet and Frédéric Neymon, in a 1977 Alpine A310 V6, followed by two Norwegian crews, one in a Lancia Fulvia HF and the other in a Porsche 911 SC.
The first regularity special of the day, in the Drôme, between Saint-Nazaire-le-Désert and La-Motte-Chalancon (RS12, 19.97km), had everything to wake up the drivers who had left Valence in the early hours. The sun was low, so they had to be very cautious, and the road was quite winding, in a new version compared to the usual stage in that area. It was a good starter for Pascal Perroud and Guillaume Allais who had already won on Sunday afternoon in the RS10, aboard their 1969 Porsche 911 Turbo. They had the honor and privilege to beat last year’s winners, Philippe and Antoine Cornet de Ways Ruart, in another slightly older Porsche (1965). The Belgians finished RS12 tied with the overall leaders on Monday evening, the Swiss duo Claudio Enz-Cristina Seeberger (Lancia Fulvia Coupé 1.3S), and with the Fiat 128 Coupé of Yannick Villar and Vincent Bourdil. In the final downhill portion, there were patches of ice and snow, so some drivers had decided to start with studded tires, in particular Bruno Saby (Ford Capri), the 1988 winner of the WRC version, who was 4th overall when he left Valence this morning.