The suspense is total ahead of the final night of the 26th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, made of two Regularity Stages (RS16 and RS17) in the hinterland of Nice, close to and in Col de Turini, for a grand finale worthy of the legend of the world’s most famous rally. There are five crews grouped together in 210 points, so anything is really possible at the top of the overall standings. And after 15 hard-fought RSs, there are 8 different makes in the top 8 spots. Phenomenal.
Lancia finished the Common Leg with a bang, winning the last two Regularity Stages on Tuesday on the way back to Monaco. The grey Lancia Beta Coupé 1800 of Maurizio Aiolfi and Carlo Merenda (#2) proved the most effective in RS14, at Laborel, before the Lancia Fulvia 1.3 S of Claudio Enz and Cristina Seeberger, the Swiss pair who won last year, set the record straight by winning their first RS of this 2024 edition.
After a welcome lunch break in Saint-André-les-Alpes, the number 1 Fulvia, with just 30 penalty points, did better between Collongues and Col de Saint-Raphaël (19.3 km) than seven cars finishing this RS15 in a tie for 2nd place, with 40 penalty points. Among them was the Ford Capri of Bruno Saby and Denis Giraudet, perfectly repaired on Sunday and fully ready for the final festival in the Turini.
Before the last two stages, the leading duo is still the same, with Belgians Michel Decremer and Jennifer Hugo still leading in their Opel Ascona in Radio Monte-Carlo livery, ahead of Italians Giorgio Schon and Francesco Giammarino (Austin Mini Cooper S). But their margin of safety has been reduced and the battle for the last place on the podium is going to be fierce between three cars, including that of the juvenile tandem made up of Jules Picoreau and Camille Béal in the number 7 Alfa GTV. Anything is possible, really.