The Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) has introduced many changes to the 86th Monte Carlo Rally, due to take place from January 22 to 28, 2018.
ACM says that its organising committee has remained faithful to its reputation by combining tradition and innovation for the 2018 edition, bearing in mind that the rally is the opening event in the WRC series.
After two and a half days of intensive reconnaissance, finishing on Wednesday 24 at 2 pm, competitors will be able to test themselves in race conditions during the “shakedown” session over 3.35 kilometres. This is the route already used on the last two rallies on the Route de la Garde, near the town of Gap.
The official start of the 86th Monte Carlo Rally will be on Thursday, January 25, at Monaco’s Place du Casino at 6 pm. This first night stage will see two special events in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Thoard-Sisteron (37.13 km), disputed in this direction for the first time in WRC and Bayons-Bréziers (25.49 km), introduced in the 2017 edition.
On Friday, January 26, towards the south of Gap, the rally will visit three departements (Hautes-Alpes, Drôme and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence), totalling some 150 kilometres. This day is by far the most challenging of the rally, with a loop of three special events geographically distant and to be negotiated twice: Vitrolles-Oze (26.76 km), Roussieux – Eygalayes (33.63 km) and Vaumeilh-Claret (15.24 km).
Heading north of Gap on Saturday, for a third day of racing, which is just as formidable as the two previous ones, disputed in the departments of Isere and Hautes-Alpes, with a loop composed of Agnières-en-Dévoluy-Corps (29.33 km) and of Saint-Léger-les-Mélèzes-La Bâtie-Neuve (16.71 km), to be covered twice.
As an epilogue to this third day, the competitors drive Bayons-Bréziers (25.49 km) by day, before a last visit to Gap, then a return to the Principality at the beginning of evening.
On the last day, Sunday, January 28, four sessions will total 63.72 kilometres without assistance, in the hinterland of the Alpes-Maritimes. Competitors will twice face the sectors of La Bollène-Vésubie-Peïra-Cava (18.30 km) and La Cabanette-Col de Braus (13.56 km).
From 3 pm, crews will be received at the traditional Awards Ceremony on the Place du Palais Princier in Monaco.