Logic was perfectly respected at the end of an intense 7th E-Rallye Monte-Carlo, from start to finish: the top two finishers in the ecoRally Cup 2022, carrying race numbers 1 and 2 on their Kia E-Niro, finished top of the official overall classification published at midday on Sunday by Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM): Spaniards Eneko Conde and Lukas Sergnese win ahead of Italy’s Guido Guerrini and Poland’s Artur Prusak, two highly experienced crews who negotiated the many pitfalls of this 2023 edition to perfection.
Because of the risk of flooding in the valleys inland from Nice, this 7th E-Rallye Monte-Carlo was cut short of two regularity stages (SR7 and SR8 on Friday morning), but that didn’t change the final result. The Spanish duo were stronger, they were always at the front and they ended their week in style, with a victory (SR14) and a 2nd place (SR15) on the final Leg which took back 58 competitors on Saturday evening to Col de Turini, where it all began on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m very happy to win this rally, it’s a dream for every driver in the world. It’s very special for us to win here in Monte Carlo. It was a very hard, very long race, and we had to remain very calm, because a mistake was always possible, in all the stages. Turini night is very special and my co-driver was very efficient. I’d like to thank all my team for this result. When we arrived here, it was to win, to make our dream come true”, reacted Eneko Conde.
“It was very different this year, with the secret course (up to an hour before the start each day). I really like this formula, we prepared our stages well, we talked a lot in the car, but we were a bit stressed. The points we gained here will enable us to go into the final round of the championship with a real chance of winning the ecoRally Cup again, as we did last year. There are only three candidates left for the title,” added Lukas Sergnese.
Behind this Kia 1-2, the last spot on the podium was the subject of an all-out battle and it was a Belgian team that came out on top: Bernard Heine and Valérie Piette, in their ID3 entered by the Belgian VW Club. It was a richly deserved result for them, as they won two stages, and a fine reward for Belgium, which made its mark on this 7th edition: five stage wins, including two for the Heine-Piette tandem, two for Eric Cunin and Alexandre Peeters, in another VW ID3 entered by Rent Speed Racing, and one for the ID4 GTX of Jean-François Devillers and Eric Chapa of the Belgian VW Club as well.
In terms of the 19 brands represented in this 7th E-Rallye Monte-Carlo, Volkswagen takes the lion’s share of honours, with 5 stage wins, ahead of Kia and Tesla (3), Nissan and Hyundai (1 each). And in the final Top 10 overall, there are 4 German cars, 2 Kias and 2 Teslas, one Nissan and one Hyundai, making a total of five car brands represented, out of19 manufacturers entering 36 different models this year.
It was another great rally, with no noise or pollution, and one more in the long series of innovative events organised by Automobile Club de Monaco for over a century. Thanks also to the support of a number of loyal partners and to the help of numerous volunteers who didn’t count their hours to make this 7th E-Rally Monte-Carlo a total success. We look forward to the 8th edition, at the end of 2024!