The Organizing Committee of the 25th edition of Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique took special care in restoring five authentic concentration routes, from Bad Homburg, Oslo, London, Turin and Reims. Five itineraries… for a common destination: Monte-Carlo. And the rally route remains a series of famous special stages, all of them used every year by the World Championship event, the inaugural leg of WRC. There will again be many competitors entered, all of them ready to fight on these legendary roads along 17 Regularity Stages (SR) in order to win the trophy held by Belgian twins Philippe and Antoine Cornet de Ways Ruart, winners in 2022 in a 1965 Porsche 911.
The competitors will arrive in the Principality of Monaco, depending on their city of departure, on Friday January 27between 3:00 and 7:40 pm. The next day, Saturday January 28 from 7:00 am, the Classification Leg will start, with four SRs to be contested heading north to Valence, the prefecture of the Drôme department and once again the Host City for the event. As an appetizer, the copious “Briançonnet – Ubraye / SR1 / 9:20 am / 18,27km” will comprise Col du Buis (1196m) and Col de Laval (1100m) in the Ubraye valley, at a time of year when snow and ice are almost everywhere. Crews will then head for “Chaudon-Norante – Digne-les-Bains / SR2 / 10:35 am / 15,79km” and its illustrious Col du Corobin (1211m), followed by a mid-day time check on Place du Tampinet in Digne-les-Bains from 11:20 am. After this break, they will enter “Le Castellard-Mélan – Sisteron / SR3 / 12:00 pm / 33,34km” and its dreaded Col Fontbelle (1304m) followed by “Recoubeau-Jansac – Pennes-le-Sec / SR4 / 2:30 pm / 16,12km” via Col de Pennes (1040m) to end the purely sporting part of this Classification Leg. A final time check is scheduled at Crest (3:40 pm) in order to regulate crews before their arrival at Champ de Mars in Valence (4:30 pm).
Leaving Valence at 8:00 am on Sunday January 29, crews will head for Ardèche where Part 1 of the Common Leg will be staged. On the morning menu, a revised and modified version of the famous Moulinon stage, “Saint-Sauveur-de-Montagut – Saint-Andéol-de-Vals / SR5 / 9:00 am / 40,69km” via Col de Sarasset (825 m). Then hungry crews will stop in Antraigues-sur-Volane, in front of the famous “Remise”, to enjoy the notorious apple tart skilfully prepared by the Jouanny family. Another legendary stage will follow, “Burzet – Saint-Martial / SR6 / 11:20 am / 30,63km” via the Ray-Pic waterfall and Lachamp-Raphaël. As in previous years, the mid-day break will happen on Place du Marché in Saint-Agrève (01:00 pm) where a tasting session for local and regional products always comes at the right time. A significant burst of energy for the competitors, before heading for the high-altitude loop of “Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid / SR7 / 1:30 pm / 27,05km” and, since the previous edition, the Liberthe road which surprised many participants last year. To end the day in style, “Lamastre – Colombier-le-Jeune / SR8 / 3:05 pm / 14,15km” via Col de Saint-Genest (709 m), and as it has become customary these past few years, there will be a last stop before returning to Valence (5.10 pm) : “rallystic” seductions organized on the Farconnet Dock in Tournon-sur-Rhône at 4:20 pm, perfectly orchestrated by the Tournon City entertainment committee.
Direction Haut-Diois, on Monday January 30 from 08:00 am, still departing from Valence, for Part 2 of the Common Leg starting with “Valdrôme – La Piarre / SR9 / 10:10 am / 13,78km” via La Bâtie-des-Fonds – Source of the Drôme – and Col de Carabes (1261m), the natural border with the neighboring Hautes-Alpes department. A perfect link to the Savoyons through “Furmeyer – Barcillonnette / SR10 / 11:10 am / 14,86km” via Col d’Espréaux (1160m). The mid-day pause in Laragne-Montéglin (12:10 pm) will happen at the ideal time for competitors willing to rest a few minutes and recharge their batteries with some local sweets. Before embarking on “Eygalayes – Verclause / SR 11 / 12:50 pm / 36,89 km” including the ascents of Col Saint-Jean (1159m), Col de Pierre-Vesce (1056m) and Col du Reychasset (1052m) in the heart of the Baronnies area, never an easy task! To end this day, a return to the Diois massif is planned, with “Crupies – Saillans / SR12 / 02:35 pm / 23,71km” via Col du Gourdon (953m) and Col de la Chaudière (1047m) as justices of the peace! The last stop of the day is scheduled on Place du Champ de Mars in Crest with a time check from 3:40 pm before returning to Valence (4:30 pm).
On Tuesday, January 31, the start from Valence is scheduled at 07:00 am, heading for Drôme Provençale. This 3rd and last part of the Common Stage begins with “Saint-Nazaire-le-Désert – La Motte-Chalancon / SR13 / 8:30 am / 19,96km”, a monument revisited for the occasion with Col de Planlara (1037m ) to pass before continuing, at exactly the same altitude, with Col de Chamauche. The rest of the fight will happen through the timed stage of “Montauban-sur-l’Ouvèze – Laborel / SR14 / 10:05 am / 18,91km” in its classic version including Col de Perty (1302m). Last but not least, to end this long day heading back to the Principality, crews will take on La Colle Saint Michel between “Thorame-Haute – Le Fugeret / SR15 / 01:05 pm / 18,43km”. The final time check is scheduled on Place Neuve in La Turbie, from 03:30 pm before entering Parc Fermé in Monaco (4.00 pm).
A few short hours of rest will then be allowed before the start of the Final Leg (09:00 pm), scheduled for the last night of Tuesday January 31 to Wednesday February 1. On the menu, two famous stages: “Col de Braus – Lantosque / SR16 / 10:00 pm / 34,35km” and “La-Bollène-Vésubie – Moulinet / SR17 / 11:10 pm / 22,33km”. Crews will be expected on the finish line in Monaco Port Hercule around 1:10 am. Finally, in keeping with tradition, the Gala Night and Prize-Giving Ceremony will take place on the evening of Wednesday February 1, in Salle des Etoiles at Sporting Monte-Carlo. (Evening dress or dark dress required).