The Monte-Carlo Rally will open the 2022 edition of the World Rally Championship (WRC) from its homebase in Monaco, instead of the usual host-city of Gap since 2014 in the Alps. This was a wish of the Organizing Committee at Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) in order to orchestrate the multiple celebrations of the 90th edition of the most glamourous rally in the world. As 95% of the route has been modified, compared to last year, it will be, more than ever, a perfect mix between conservatism and originality, thanks to a set of very demanding special stages selected in the Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
After three days allowed for recce, from Monday January 17 to Wednesday January 19, the official start of the 90th Monte-Carlo Rally is scheduled Thursday January 20 at 06:45pm on the fully renovated and still majestic Casino Square. This first nightly leg will be made of two very well-known stages adding up to 38.45 kilometers: « Lucéram / Lantosque » (SS1 – 15.20km – 08:18pm) and « La Bollène-Vésubie / Moulinet » (SS2 – 23.25km – 09:31pm) will make this an opening « Turini Night 2022».
On Friday January 21, the crews will head for the northern part of Alpes-Maritimes for a second day of racing against the clock totalling 97.86 km of stages, in two loops of three stages next to the Mercantour National Park. There will be a mid-day pause for regrouping and changing tyres in Puget-Théniers in the middle of the toughest day of the rally. The stages on the menu will be « Roure / Beuil » (SS3/6 – 18.33km – 9:14am / 2:16pm), « Guillaumes / Péone / Valberg » (SS4/7 – 13.49km – 10:17am / 3:19pm), and « Val-de-Chalvagne / Entrevaux » (SS5/8 – 17.11km – 11:35am/4:37pm) in order to make sure that this 2nd Leg will be a tough nut to crack!
Day 3 will be set in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence on Saturday January 22 for 92.46 kilometers of stages starting with « Le Fugeret / Thorame-Haute » (SS9 – 16.80km – 8:17am) nicknamed « La Colle Saint-Michel » by specialists. Then a double loop will follow, before and after a mid-day pause in Digne-les-Bains for regrouping and changing tyres. A brand new stage « Saint-Jeannet / Malijai » (SS10/12 – 17.04km – 10:08am / 2:08pm) will be paired with the ominous « Saint-Geniez / Thoard » (SS11/13 – 20.79km – 11:16am / 3:16pm) through Authon and the very demanding Col de Fontbelle, all of this without any possibility of service during the day, which will surely prove exhausting for the remaining crews.
In order to conclude this 90th edition in style, on Sunday January 23, four stages totalling 67.26 kilometers will be set, without any service allowed, in the north-west of Alpes-Maritimes, close to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Each stage will be run twice, starting with a new sector « La Penne / Collongues » (SS14/16 – 19.37km – 8:45am / 10:53am) and continuing with « Briançonnet / Entrevaux » (SS15/17 – 14.26km – 10:08am / 12:18pm) through Col du Buis and Val-de-Chalvagne, where the second run will be the Power Stage. Remaining crews will then be able to rejoin Monaco around 02:00pm to cross the finish line before attending the traditional Prize Ceremony on Casino Square…
Monaco, November 17, 2021