Welcome back! To the original, most authentic winter epic, the challenge of driving the worst roads in Europe in the thick of mid-winter – and the satisfaction of surviving and finally descending from the Alpine snow and fog to the brilliant sunshine of the Mediterranean. It’s Back! We return to the passes and Cols of the French Alps!
It’s been a full-on day that has seen changes throughout the table. After leaving Aix-Le Bains the event ventured immediately in the Alps to the south-east of the town, the first and second regularities didn’t have much bearing on the event, but, as crews headed higher and into the Vercors, things would change significantly. The event was well in the snow line now and the regularities and navigation were becoming more challenging for the crews.
Starting in the lowlands of the Chartreuse region, regularity three would climb up from les Essaits de la Palud and end slightly north of Col du Granier. Dan Gresly/Elise Whyte were in a class of their own recording just four seconds lost for the whole section. Just one second behind them were Olaf Pothoven/Pieter van Leusden in their wonderful sounding 1600 Sport Escort – breathing through twin Weber IDF carburettors and filling the surrounding areas with memories of times past. Jonathan Hancox/Richard Lambley were climbing stealthily through the pack and stringing a set of ultra-consistent performances, they couldn’t top the best times here but stayed in contention with 19 seconds penalties. Despite having some imperious runs over the first two sections of the day, Dermot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet had a nightmare start to this section with Paul misreading a couple of corners which led to them dropping one-minute in penalties and sending them tumbling down the leaderboard.
Next up was a regularity named Vence which took its name from a river that was crossed in the midpoint of the section. Despite it being a fairly wide section situated on a D (Domestique) road it would claim time from the majority of crews. Using all their experience of the area and the roads in it, Monty Karlan/Peter Rushforth stormed the section with just three-seconds in penalties. Carnegie/Bosdet were at maximum attack to post four-seconds whilst Peter and Pat Neville were on fire with just five-seconds dropped. Gresly/Whyte showed a chink in their armour that would leave them vulnerable later and dropped 11 seconds here, New Zealand husband and wife team Paula and Mike Donald started to get to grips and posted a great time of 12 seconds lost to give them their best performance on a regularity of the event so far.
Into lunch via a test at Lens-en-Vercors and Carnegie truly went to town on the ice racing circuit which is normally host to the Andros Trophy. Nobody could match the Irishman as he used his years of Rally Cross experience to set fastest times on both of the tests here, many (including the writer of this report) would have given their eye-teeth to have been sat in the Volvo PV 544 as Dermot showed how to control a car on immensely slippery surfaces. Paul Bloxidge/Ian Canavan, Olaf Pothoven/Pieter van Leusden and Peter & Pat Neville all claimed fastest times in their respective classes on the first test. Karlan/Rushforth, Cleyndert/Bricknell and Perkins/Fish claimed bragging rights on the second alongside Carnegie/Bosdet as the test was reversed, a challenging downhill hairpin left on ice proving too intimidating for a full attack from many crews.
Things were starting to change and putting the disappointment of the earlier navigational error way behind them, Carnegie/Bosdet Piled on the pressure after lunch. Regularity six would take in the Col de Echarasson and it was here that snow would play a big part towards yet another change in the results. A line fault at the first timing point costi Gresly/Whyte 25 seconds and would put them within grasp of both Carnegie/Bosdet and Hancox/Lambley, Carnegie/Bosdet having the bragging rights with just nine seconds dropped, the closest crews to them were Paul Merryweather/Tony Jolly and Karlan/Rushforth on 13.
Col de Machine would live up to its fearsome reputation of being a real test for crews and cars and here Dan Gresly/Elise Whyte faltered, misjudging some snow they found themselves embedded on a snow bank needing some deft excavations to free themselves, dropping a minute. Merryweather/Jolly posted 18 alongside Ed Abbott/Pete Johnson, Karlan/Rushforth once again were on fire with 13 but nobody could match Canavan/Bloxidge who posted 12 here. This regularity was another set on D-class roads but the sting in the tail was several excursions through lay-bys that would catch the unwary out. The second timing point was situated on a downhill right hander on gravel where several crews came in hot, Paula & Mike Donald tried to attack the local verges whilst Pothoven/van Leusden slid perilously close to a line fault-their Escort developing a rear brake problem. One crew that struggled here were Nicholas Maris/Nick Pullan who missed the first timing point completely and overshot the second prior to realising their mistake and returning to clean the timing point!
We’re awaiting crews to return from the TC section tonight and will report more as we have it.
|.||wdt_ID||Num||Driver||Navigator||Car||Leg Total||Overall Total||O/A Pos.||Class||Cls Pos.|
|1||15||Jonathan Hancox||Richard Lambley||Triumph 2.5 PI||00:01:26||00:02:57||1||2||1|
|2||1||Dermot Carnegie||Paul Bosdet||Volvo PV544||00:01:53||00:02:58||2||1.1||1|
|3||19||Monty Karlan||Peter Rushforth||Volvo 142 GL||00:01:33||00:03:16||3||2||2|
|4||8||Daniel Gresly||Elise Whyte||Porsche 911 SWB||00:02:06||00:03:18||4||1.2||1|
|5||21||Paul Bloxidge||Ian Canavan||Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7||00:03:03||00:04:53||5||2||3|
|6||14||Bill Cleyndert||Roger Bricknell||Austin Morris 1800||00:01:54||00:05:04||6||1.2||2|
|7||7||Michael Moss||Andrew Duerden||Fiat 2300S Coupe||00:02:49||00:05:05||7||1.1||2|
|8||12||Tim Lawrence||Tony Davies||MG B GT||00:01:45||00:05:17||8||1.2||3|
|9||23||Ed Abbott||Pete Johnson||Jaguar XJ-S V12||00:02:11||00:05:22||9||3+4||1|
|10||22||Olaf Pothoven||Pieter van Leusden||Ford Escort 1600 Sport||00:02:39||00:05:45||10||3+4||2|
Unofficial – Dan Gresly/Elise Whyte take the lead after Dermot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet miss a junction costing them a minute in penalties, this should also elevate Jonathon Hancox/Richard Lambley into second place.
That was an afternoon and a half. Spent in the higher parts of the Grand Montagnes, the sections have tested crews with a myriad of hairpins and some challenging navigation. One thing that has come from the crews is the quality of the new maps introduced by the Clerk Of the Course and Event Director. Despite the clarity of the 1:25,000 scale maps, some crews weren’t used to the speed at which they have to be read, under a magnifying glass or Poti, these maps come alive but some roads are still missing from them – as is the French way.
Coming out of Moirans-en-Montagne, a short hop took the event to the Circuit JuraSud where a good crowd were present to welcome the crews. Four crews escaped penalties, Bosdet/Carnegie, Gresly/Whyte, Bloxidge/Canavan and Perkins/Fish all posting the quickest times in their respective class. From here the regularities would come thick and fast with three sections that would vary from open and flowing roads to tight and tortuous hairpins to keep the crews on their toes. It would also prove to be the downfall for the overnight leaders, Bloxidge/Canavan when an overshoot at a timing point netted them a one-minute penalty, more about this later.
Reg 2/4, Jura Sud started outside of Molignes and wound its way on the D63 through Vulvoz and Choux before the End of Reg at Désertin. Despite the best efforts of the Clerk of The Course, the first timing point was the one that took time from 99% of the crews, only Bill Cleyndert/Roger Bricknell cleaned this and posted a one at the next timing points to claim bragging rights for this section.
RS 2/5 took crews back into the snow and caught many out before the first timing point with snow covering the entrance to the desired road meaning crews had to venture down to ascertain if there actually was a road there. Perkins/Fish came in very hot into the first TP after missing this and almost slid off the road after their front wheel hit the verge and dragged them towards some trees, other crews that were really pushing here were Peter and Pat Neville and Paula and Mike Donald, wheels locked seemed to be the order of the day on this broken surface section of road. The route wound its way through the Forêt Du Comble with much of the road covered in snow that had frozen making progress tricky and needing deft touches on the steering and throttle at times to keep pointing in a forward direction. One crew who struggled here were Liam Hammond/Mark Simpson who’s Rover’s tyres weren’t up to the snow and left them needing a tow from the closing car to get up a hill… Carnegie/Bosdet heaped the pressure on with a fine two points dropped but Bloxidge/Canavan countered this with a one-second penalty for the whole regularity. Olaf Pothoven/Pieter van Leusden were spectacular in their Escort 1600 Sport, fishtailing beautifully through the woods and keeping great time with just seven-seconds dropped.
Up next was a linear regularity that followed the contours of Le Grand Colombrier and although not as twisting and demanding as the other regularities it was here that the leaderboard would see significant changes. Carnegie/Bosdet and Gresly/Whyte were locked in battle through this section, both scoring a total of nine-seconds over the two timing points and leaving each other with no room for errors. Hancox/Lambley pipped them both though with a fine eight-seconds lost to climb into third place overall. The second timing point was situated just after a tight 90 right and after coming in a little too hot into the control, the Porsche 911 of Bloxidge/Canavan couldn’t stop in time and failed to stop astride the timing point, relegating them to fifth.
Reg seven took in the infamous Col de Sapenay and with 17 hairpins in just under two kilometres, this was a section that the drivers could really attack. Monty Karlan/Peter Rushforth were in a class of their own here and stopped the clocks at five seconds, not wanting to be upstaged, Michael Moss/Andrew Duerden set the exact same times in what was a real challenge for all the crews. Nothing could surpass the commitment and skill of Helge Helmbold/Stephan Huber who posted an amazing three-seconds lost in their BMW 323i, a testament to the German pairing who, if they hadn’t had some mistakes earlier in the event, would be challenging for a place in the top three for sure. Nicholas Maris/Nick Pullan were another crew who thoroughly enjoyed this section with the big Datsun 240Z ideally suited for this sort of regularity.
We end the second day here in Aix-le-Bains quite early for the Winter Challenge, but tomorrow sees a huge day in front of the crews with a night section that is sure to change the order about.
|.||wdt_ID||Num||Driver||Navigator||Car||Leg Total||Overall Total||O/A Pos.||Class||Cls Pos.|
|1||1||Dermot Carnegie||Paul Bosdet||Volvo PV544||00:00:47||00:01:05||1||1.1||1|
|2||8||Daniel Gresly||Elise Whyte||Porsche 911 SWB||00:00:48||00:01:12||2||1.2||1|
|3||15||Jonathan Hancox||Richard Lambley||Triumph 2.5 PI||00:00:53||00:01:31||3||2||1|
|4||19||Monty Karlan||Peter Rushforth||Volvo 142 GL||00:01:20||00:01:43||4||2||2|
|5||21||Paul Bloxidge||Ian Canavan||Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7||00:01:35||00:01:50||5||2||3|
|6||7||Michael Moss||Andrew Duerden||Fiat 2300S Coupe||00:01:30||00:02:16||6||1.1||2|
|7||25||Roy Perkins||Andrew Fish||Porsche 944||00:02:12||00:02:54||7||3+4||1|
|8||24||Helge Helmbold||Stephan Huber||BMW 323i||00:00:55||00:02:56||8||3+4||2|
|9||22||Olaf Pothoven||Pieter van Leusden||Ford Escort 1600 Sport||00:02:39||00:03:06||9||3+4||3|
|10||14||Bill Cleyndert||Roger Bricknell||Austin Morris 1800||00:01:37||00:03:10||10||1.2||2|
A quick update from the stunning Le Regardoir Restaurant in Moirans En Montagne where a fine lunch has been enjoyed on the banks of Lake Vouglan high in the Jura Region.
We’ve hit snow, not much but enough fo the third regularity of the day to be tricky underfoot with some snow on the road interspersed with black ice where the road was sheltered with trees.
A run out from Beaune this morning crossing the Seille Plains saw crews enshrouded in mist before taking in the first regularity close to Beaufort. This was a twisting section that climbed through the trees of the Curenne Forest and St. Cevaux before the final timing point at Augisey. This was a more complex section than the previous ones with several hairpins and hills to negotiate with blind crests adding to the fun. Dan Gresly/Elise Whyte were joint class of the field on six seconds, their score equalled by Michael Moss/Andrew Duerden. Bloxidge and Canavan dropped seven seconds with this fine score being equalled by Monty Karlan/Peter Rushforth who between them have 80 competitive events to Monte-Carlo under their belts.
This section caught out Drmot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet who had issues at the third timing point being 13 seconds late which would see them drop into joint second with Gresly/Whyte.
The second regularity of the day was much more straight-forward with only a couple of junctions and an odd hairpin to attack. Moss/Duerden cleaned this section as did Ed Abbott/Pete Johnson in the mighty XJ-S V12. Bruce Wood/John Vaughan were getting into the swing of things in their Bristol and dropped just nine seconds, a fine attempt from the newcomers to regularity rallying. Paul Merryweather/Tony Jolly dropped 15 here which was enough to cost them a couple of places in their Consul Capri, a car that has drawn many admiring glances from locals as the event has crossed France.
The final reg of the morning was a longer section that looped around the Ruisseau de Giron and climbed into the snowline. A good distance between the timing points kept crews on their toes and pushed Bloxidge/Canavan into a ten-second penalty at the second timing point, an easy to overshoot slot right onto a mixed-surface road that had suffered heavily with recent snow fall. Nick Maris/Nick Pullan have started to gel and recorded a creditable 17 with Roy Perkins/Andrew Fish one-second behind them. Australia’s Aidan Mawhinney/Rory Gallagher are struggling a little with the navigation on the event and are essentially touring at the moment. The Triumph pairing of Jonathon Hancox/Richard Lambley starred on this section, finding the snow and ice on some points of the regularity to their liking and dropping just five seconds over the three timing points.
We’re at Circuit JuraSud now for a driving test and will post times later on:
Unofficial top five
4) Karlan/Rushforth +12
5) Hancox/Lambley +16
That’s been a very long day.
We’re here in Beaune after travelling almost 350 miles through France to sit just north-west of Switzerland and around an hour north of Lyon.
We have had one crew with mechanical difficulties today, sadly, we don’t know as yet if Tony Sheach and Rachel Wakefield are able to carry on in their very famous Triumph TR4, ‘Beastie’. We believe the issue to be Kingpin related and Tony is trying to source one through his extensive knowledge of Triumphs and the followers of the Marque.
The route today took the Winter Challenge north-east of Amiens and along the arrow straight D934 near Roye before cutting across the Somme and Choisy-en-Brie prior to lunch at the delightful town of Provins to the south-east of Paris, avoiding the melee of traffic that surrounds the famous city on the Seine. Provins is a medieval town and is famous for its production of rose based foods, one of the most palatable being rose honey which we are told is delicious. As well as wine and food, Provins has some ancient buildings which are simply stunning and under the view of the ramparts crews took lunch.
From here we crossed the Seine to the south of Paris and into the Bourgogne for the first regularity of the day, near Bérulle. This was designed to ease crews into the coming days’ competition and was a fairly straight-forward section, class of the field were Dermot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet on four seconds penalties and Paul Bloxidge/Ian Canavan one behind them. Bill Cleyndert/Roger Bricknell were a further second adrift as were Monty Karlan/Peter Rushforth. Other crews with great attempts here were Dan Gresly/Elise Whyte on eight and Helge Helmbold/Stephan Huber on nine.
The scenery here was in total contrast to the flat and often featureless plains of northern France, we were now climbing into the hills made famous by the Chardonnay Grape and the town of Chablis which gives its name to the world-renowned wine produced in the area. The second regularity seemed to be a pretty innocuous affair, the sting in the tail being an easy to miss timing point that was placed after a hairpin junction. Cleyndert/Bricknell fell foul of this after an excellent first section with Helmbold/Huber following suit in exactly the same manner. It caught out a plethora of other crews with Peter Neville/Pat Neville dropping 29 here, Richard Prosser/Martin Neal being caught to the tune of a minute and Neil Walmsley/Kevin Needham in their mighty three-litre Healey also had dificulties here.
The final section set off in a lay-by with the first timing point situated after a complex of roads near a farmyard, Bloxidge and Canavan dropped a second here with Helmbold/Huber trying to pull time back with a clean time. They fell foul of the second timing point at a junction that was quite difficult to negotiate in the rapidly decreasing light, the half-light also caused issues For Liam Hammond/Mark Simpson and Mike Howells/Sue Hill who both dropped a minute here.
At the end of the first day we have Bloxidge/Canavan in the lead by three seconds from Carnegie/Bosdet in their Volvo. A second Volvo lies third with Karlan/Rushforth five seconds behind Carnegie/Bosdet, in fourth and waiting to pounce lies the Porsche 911 of Gresly/Whyte whilst Olaf Pothoven/Pieter van Leusden lie an excellent fifth with a string of consistently good performances.
First car is away tomorrow at 08:31, we’ll see you during the day with more live updates from Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo 2018.
|.||wdt_ID||Num||Driver||Navigator||Car||Leg Total||Overall Total||O/A Pos.||Class||Cls Pos.|
|1||21||Paul Bloxidge||Ian Canavan||Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7||00:00:15||00:00:15||1||2||1|
|2||1||Dermot Carnegie||Paul Bosdet||Volvo PV544||00:00:18||00:00:18||2||1.1||1|
|3||19||Monty Karlan||Peter Rushforth||Volvo 142 GL||00:00:23||00:00:23||3||2||2|
|4||8||Daniel Gresly||Elise Whyte||Porsche 911 SWB||00:00:24||00:00:24||4||1.2||1|
|5||22||Olaf Pothoven||Pieter van Leusden||Ford Escort 1600 Sport||00:00:27||00:00:27||5||3+4||1|
|6||15||Jonathan Hancox||Richard Lambley||Triumph 2.5 PI||00:00:38||00:00:38||6||2||3|
|7||25||Roy Perkins||Andrew Fish||Porsche 944||00:00:42||00:00:42||7||3+4||2|
|8||23||Ed Abbott||Pete Johnson||Jaguar XJ-S V12||00:00:45||00:00:45||8||3+4||3|
|9||7||Michael Moss||Andrew Duerden||Fiat 2300S Coupe||00:00:46||00:00:46||9||1.1||2|
|10||9||David Maryon||Neil Worsfold||MG B Roadster||00:01:01||00:01:01||10||1.2||2|
The first competitive section of The Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo has caused some crews a few issues. Richard Prosser/Martin Neal found themselves on the sharp end of a speed change, a missed instruction costing the Alpine pair dearly.
Dan Gresly/Elise Whyte put in a storming performance to drop 6 seconds with Dermot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet posting the reported best time of day on just four seconds dropped over three timing points.
Tony Sheach/Rachel Wakefield have had suspension issues on their Triumph TR4 and we don’t yet know if they are able to continue. More on this later when we find out what has gone wrong for sure.
The average for this section was twelve seconds, more from Beaune later this evening.
We’re in the ramparted town of Provins for lunch in some absolutely beautiful conditions, the sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky and all is well with the world, especially the Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo.
This morning has been a 300Km run to pass through the vast plains of The Somme and get around Paris with the least traffic posssible. Leaving here will see an hour’s run to the very first regularity of the event where competition will commence on the event. There are three regularities this afternoon and we will bring you the updates and news from Beaune this evening.
Good evening from Le Touquet and the night before the start of Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo 2018.
All registered crews have made the hotel and attended a drivers briefing earlier this evening which was held by Clerk of The Course, Will Rutherford. It was a very upbeat mood in the meeting with crews relishing the prospect of snow as we move onto the higher ground after the concentration run tomorrow.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for one crew however. Dermot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet arrived into their overnight hotel with steam pouring out of their usually bomb-proof Volvo PV544 and they suspected a head gasket problem which had reared its head on the RAC Rally of The Tests had returned. On filling the coolant system up it was noticed that a trickle of water was entering the car which led to a faulty heater matrix being diagnosed and bypassed. Great news initially, but the repair has left Dermot and Paul without a heater and with the forecast snow it could be an icy affair for the pairing.
Ed Abbott is in fine fettle after swapping his Jaguar XJ-S differential for a lower-geared version, the extra acceleration this will bring will be welcome on the snow-free sections but it may become a handful the higher we climb should the snow come down.
As the crews parked their cars up tonight outside the Westminister Hotel in Le Touquet a steady stream of admirers filed through Parc Fermé and chatted to competitors and organisers alike. The town has been incredibly friendly and accommodating to the event and HERO would like to pass on our thanks to the town for this.
We start at 08:01 local time tomorrow and will be live on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/herorally/) where you can see the crews leave the line and wish them Bon Voyage as they start out on an adventure that is sure to bring some twists and turns. Who will seal the win on that most famous of places, the Col De Turini on Thursday afternoon, stay tuned to this web page and our social media channels to find out.
Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo, the route is being finalised, all hotels booked.
The 2018 running of the Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo will see a combination of the traditional and favourite elements of the event but with new ideas and route that will take us higher than recent years into the Alps. To complement the familiar names that the route will use from previous classic Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo rallies, this year will see us scale classic sections that will offer a challenge to both crew and car – territories will be used during the event where it has been known to be covered in snow, offering the greatest challenge to crew and car but we are also aiming higher, over classic Cols such as Col du Tormalet and Mont du Chat.
New this year is an all-new French start with Le Touquet playing host to the event as we say goodbye to the North Coast of France and head South. Our aim is to get a test at the very beginning of the event on the seafront but this has not been confirmed as yet. The concentration run – this traditional start to the event will get us deep into France to allow us maximum time in the mountains from leg two, but we are adding some competition to the day to prepare the crews for the four days that lay ahead.
Magnificent lunch locations – We have managed to secure some fantastic lunch locations, one overlooking the stunning Lac de Vauglans in the Jura Mountains. Another day we will enjoy the VIP treatment of the famous French Trophee Andros Ice Racing series where we will dine between tests on the Ice Circuit itself which is situated high up in its own ski resort. On leg four, after a challenging morning driving some of the famous stages from the modern-day Monte Carlo Rallye, competitors will dine at a prestigious vineyard in Chateauneuf du Pape.
Night Section – There will be one main ‘night section’ on the event. Approximately two hours of challenging evening section in the Ardeche Region with a mixture of TC and regularity sections will certainly be an important factor to who lifts the silverware in Monte Carlo.
As always, the Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo wouldn’t be complete without classic places such as Beaune, Aix-Les-Bains (known to the older competitors as aches and pains), Monte-Carlo, where we will sample the delights of reaching the most rewarding finish line in motorsport. We look forward to seeing you on the event.
The International Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo will again be organised with the emphasis on historical authenticity, not just because car modifications are limited to correct period specification, but also in the way we run the actual event for you. Every detail will be a step back in time to the golden era of rallying – and of course the mountain roads of France will still provide the most challenging and enjoyable motoring anywhere in the world.
So it’s welcome back to duffle coats, silk scarves, flying jackets, thermos flasks, snow chains, tow ropes, fog lights and a shovel on the roof! It’s welcome back to climbing ice covered passes! It’s welcome back to driving through empty, snow bound landscapes. It’s welcome back to trusting your navigator as they struggle, with tired eyes and frozen fingers, and a sigh of relief when you finally find a lonely marshal keeping vigil by the roadside. But most of all, it is welcome back to competitors past and present who dare to join us on the most authentic winter adventure of them all – The Winter Challenge.
This is a winter event, held with the chance of deep snow. It is advisable that you have experience in dealing with driving in such conditions, and that your car is prepared to expect the harshest conditions and trickiest surfaces possible. You will be driving on mountain passes with the distinct possibility of ice and snow at all altitudes.
Navigation is via Michelin and IGN Maps, the majority of route information is provided in advance of the event so you are able to plot the route in the comfort and without time pressures. Regularity Sections are given out as a pre marked IGN Map at a scale of 1:50,000 so there is no need for plotting work on the event.
This event receives EXPERT accreditation. Entries are now open.
(Cars built before this date)
This event runs under the regulations of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA)
Note, Crews have a free evening on Saturday the 17th and can make their own dining arrangements
The 21st Winter Challenge to Monte Carlo is the definition of classic rallying: driving your classic car along challenging, stunning and adventurous winter roads to reach the greatest finishing ramp in Rallying History.
We have been listening to competitors’ feedback from previous events and we are devising a route to challenge all three components; the car, the driver and the navigator but also give you maximum enjoyment from a winter event, and as you descend into the principality of Monaco, you will be proud to have experienced an event of a lifetime.
Starting from the northern French coastal town of Le Touquet we will be travelling Coast to Coast via some of the most challenging winter roads Europe has to offer and we guarantee four full days of mountainous driving.
Our aim with introducing a French start venue to the event is to get the crews as far south as possible on Leg 1 to give you all an extra day in the mountains and also avoid any potential issues with ferries.
The event is going back to basics with a challenging but enjoyable concentration run from the northern start venue to the classic French walled city of Beaune, which hasn't been visited by the event since 2011. On the way there will be three regularities to establish the running order going forward.
From Beaune we begin our ascent into the Jura Mountains where the winter roads will twist and turn as we climb over the cols and descend into the frozen valleys towards the Alps and our overnight halt in Aix-Les-Bains. Our aim is to take the route higher this year to find the challenging winter conditions we crave from this event, we hope that this will be a true highlight for the crews.
From the central Alps the route will twist it's way over some notorious alpine climbs where teamwork will be essential and the rural time control coffee halts in truly authentic French cafes and restaurants will be greatly appreciated. We then descend towards the Rhone Valley and the Ardeche for a great night time TC section before our overnight halt in Valence; a perfect stop-over as we return to the Ardeche for some infamous Rallying territory on Leg 3.
We're spoilt for choice on this leg as our route nestles in between some of the most stunning scenery in the Vercors, Ardeche , Cévennes and Luberon national parks. Our aim is to go as high as we can to seek out snow and test both crew and vehicle.
After our final night's halt in the southern location of Mallemort, the final day will see us venture into the beautiful Gorges de Verdons before we make our final ascent into the southern Alps and climb the most famous mountain of them all, the Col de Turini.
|1||1||Dermot Carnegie (IRL)||Paul Bosdet (Eng)||Volvo PV544||1800||1959||1.1|
|2||2||Liam Hammond (Eng)||Mark Simpson (Eng)||Rover P4 100||2625||1960||1.1|
|3||4||Richard Prosser (Eng)||Martin Neal (Eng)||Sunbeam Alpine II||1594||1962||1.1|
|4||5||Paul Merryweather (Eng)||Tony Jolly (GBR)||Ford Consul Capri||1498||1964||1.1|
|5||6||Tony Sheach (Sco)||Rachel Wakefield (GBR)||Triumph TR4||2188||1964||1.1|
|6||9||David Maryon (USA)||Neil Worsfold (Eng)||MG B Roadster||1798||1966||1.2|
|7||10||Mike Howells (Eng)||Sue Hill (Eng)||Morris Mini Cooper S||1275||1967||1.2|
|8||11||Peter Neville (IRL)||Pat Neville (IRL)||Volvo 142||1780||1967||1.2|
|9||12||Tim Lawrence (GBR)||Tony Davies (GBR)||MG B GT||1860||1967||1.2|
|10||17||Mike Donald (NZL)||Paula Donald (NZL)||BMW 2002tii||1997||1972||2.0|