To celebrate the 21st running of the Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo, two of the most respected and knowledgeable men in historic rallying have been tasked with setting a route to deliver snow, great hospitality, stunning scenery and the unique atmosphere that can only be found on the event.
Will Rutherford highlights some of the route in a preview to an article in this month's HEROICS newsletter.
It’s said that some of the more experienced competitors have coined various phrases for the towns regularly visited along the route of the Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo with Aches and Pains being one of them. In this month’s HEROICS newsletter, we will be posting a day-by-day account of what competitors can expect on this, the most authentic of winter time regularity events. In the years’ past, this event has thrown some amazing weather at us, from snow drifts to the sunshine and all other forms in between. It’s the snow and the ‘Balcony Roads’ that prove so popular with competitors, along with some stunning Auberge and Les Routiers establishments along the way. The hotels being used are of a quality not seen on the event previously, from the Westminister Hotel at the start of the event to The Hermitage in Monte-Carlo, the hotels have been selected to be both comfortable and represent a flavour of the areas we are travelling through.
Clerk of The Course, Will Rutherford said; “Where are we with the event? I feel that we’ve put together a fantastic route from Northern France to the South coast and the principality of Monte Carlo. The Winter Challenge 2018, the 21st edition of the event is to be held once again as a map based event. Competitors will be sent the route 2 weeks before the event for them to plot and familiarise themselves with. Every day there will be route handouts given to competitors of the regularity sections which are kept secret until then.”
The route is a real hark-back to the Monte-Carlo rallies of pre-1965 with leg one being the longest of the event, Will describes it; “Leg one, Concentration Run: Le Touquet – Beaune – 580km. Historically designed as a long run where crews are given a test of endurance and reliability rather than outright speed. On the original Monte Carlo Rallye prior to 1965, the Concentration Run maintained a scoring element, testing the navigational skills – not to mention the boredom threshold – of each competing crew. Scoring was then dropped… until now. We have re-introduced a scoring element with three regularity sections and a test to the concentration run to ‘whet the appetite’ and also provide a running order as we head into the mountains on Leg two.”
With a 2,110km route, including 34 regularities totalling 604km and five driving tests as well as a night-time TC section in ‘the place that used to strike terror in the hearts of rally drivers of decades ago’, The Ardeche, Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo is going to come of age in fine style, you can read more about the route in the upcoming HEROICS Newsletter or enter at The Winter Challenge Web page.
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