The Monte-Carlo Historic Rally is underway with hundreds of cars setting off from seven European cities, including Stockholm, Lisbon and Barcelona, for the 1,300-mile trip to Monaco. Eighty cars – representing models that took part in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980 – left the only UK departure point, in Paisley, Scotland, at 6 pm on Wednesday.
The Historique, now in its 20th year, takes place over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews apparently undaunted by the distance of 2,688 kilometres from Paisley to Monaco. Before arriving in the Principality, the cars will go through a series of test stages in the mountains of southern France.
Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator, said of the send-off: “This year’s Monte start has all the ingredients to make it a unique mid-winter festival which is guaranteed to lift the spirits of all the folk from Paisley and beyond who come along each year to enjoy the wonderful carnival atmosphere.”
The Final Night Run starts January 31 in Monaco at 9 pm and will feature two notorious tests: Luceram-Lantosque (26.89 km) in the Vésubie Valley at 10 pm, and La Bollène Vésubie-Moulinet-Sospel (52.78 km), which includes the celebrated 1,604-metre Col de Turini at 10:45 pm. Racers will arrive at Port Hercule for the finish around 1:20 am.