Standing firm with new tradition, the 22nd Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo will be held entirely on French roads to offer crews maximum time in the wintery conditions craved by competitors brave enough to challenge themselves and their motorcar on this red status event. The Winter Challenge plays on the charm and rustic authenticity of its innovative values which helps to keep the original winter classic rally quite unique.
Last visited by the Winter Challenge in 1992, the Northern city of Reims will play host to the start of the adventure where the cobbled streets and Gothic architecture will burble to the sound of Classic Rally Cars as crews prepare for five days of this tough winter rally. With Scrutineering and Documentation taking place on Saturday afternoon, competitors can make a leisurely trip to the start and have a relaxing evening in the ‘Coronation City’ before the adventure begins.
Once again, we welcome beginners, enthusiasts and experts alike to this challenging event, but we guarantee you will be rewarded by the time you reach the finishing line.
(Excluding Scrutineering 6th February)
(Drivers Briefing 06/02/2021)
(Cars built before this date)
(until 31st May 2020)
(until 31st May 2020)
Why become a HERO Premier Member (HPM)?
One Benefit; Up to 10% discount on Entry Fees (Excludes One-Day & Training Events)
Scrutineering and Documentation will take place during Saturday afternoon, giving crews the opportunity to take a morning Ferry across the Channel and cover the short drive down to Reims or arrive from mainland Europe. A drivers briefing will be held following the completion of Documentation for all crews. One of our Route Planners will be available throughout the afternoon at Documentation to assist with any queries surrounding the plotted route sent to Competitors two weeks prior to the event (another feature of this event).
The Traditional Concentration Run is an element synonymous with the opening Leg of the Winter Challenge and the 2021 edition is no different. Departing the start at the Reims-Gueux Circuit, crews will delve deep into the heart of France, crossing the Champagne region, followed by territories such as Burgundy before the true competitive element begins with 3 Regularities near the central town of Moulins as we descend upon the Puy-de-Dome and the overnight halt at Clermont Ferrand which was last visited by the Winter Challenge in 2003. As expected from The Concentration Run, it will be a long day behind the wheel but hopefully a rewarding one after the late afternoon Regularities.
A true adventure in the mountains awaits the crews today as they climb high into the Auvergne and the volcanic landscape of the Puy-de-Dome. The sweeping climbs over the Cols and descents through rustic villages will certainly retain the focus from both sides of the car which is quite necessary as the competition steps up a gear. The afternoon offers a trip through the Aubrac National Park and down towards the magnificent Tarn Gorge before a very short liaison into the evenings rest halt of Millau, made famous by its modern viaduct, currently the worlds tallest bridge.
The longest and arguably most challenging day of the rally is a true showcase of what the mountains of central southern France have to offer. Climbing steep into the Cevennes National Park, a region last used by HERO on a Classic Marathon and not used on a Winter Challenge since 2005, the roads become narrower and the scenery becomes ever more spectacular. These roads are used on a French National Stage Rally and for good reason. A truely rustic lunch halt in the mountains will give crews a breather before another tough afternoon as the route swings North for the first time and closes in on the infamous roads of the Ardeche Region. After a well deserved supper halt, crews will be treated to an evening Time Control Section in the dark through the winding roads that the region has to offer before a well deserved beer in the hotel bar.
A complete change of terrain will be evident through weary eyes this morning as the route drops down into the floodplains of the Rhone valley and the event makes its traditional trek across the river towards the Alpine landscape that spreads across the horizon ahead. The roads open up as the passes sweep up the mountainsides to reveal another stunning scene beyond. A number of well known Cols used by the Monte Carlo Rallye will be visited as the route traverses east towards the Citadelle at Sisteron and onwards to the final overnight halt in Digne-Les-Bains which is perfectly positioned to allow us maximum driving time in the Alps that surround the Town.
Heading East is the story of the final morning of this trip with a number of Regularities and a flourish of Timing Points still eager to catch out those losing focus but the final push up the Col de Turini will be a real treat for all who have made it to the greatest Col in Rallying and battled through five days of true wintery conditions. After a hot broth and congratulatory embrace with fellow competitors, all that is left is the gentle cruise down out of the mountains to Monte-Carlo for the evening awards presentation and gala dinner where fond stories of the mountains will be shared amongst a room full of passionate rallyists.
|1||Paul Bloxidge||Ian Canavan||Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk2||1||1985|
|2||David Coxon||Pete Hawkins||Austin Healey||0||1965|
|3||Malcolm Dunderdale||Anita Wickins||Renault 8 Gordini||1350||1968|
|1||Tim Lawrence||Tony Davies||MG B GT||1860||1967|
|2||Angus McQueen||BMW E21 323i||2955||1982|
|3||Michael Moss||James Ewing||Tba||0||0|
|4||Matthew Sharp||Sean Lees||Volvo Amazon 130||1780||1966|
|5||Toby Strauss||Saab 96||0||0|
|6||Richard Worts||Nicola Shackleton||Jaguar MK 2||3800||1961|