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 30th June 2020)
(until 30th June 2020)
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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).
Leg One, traditionally known as the Concentration Run, has evolved nicely and the Regularities towards the end of the day will certainly draw out either smiles or frowns as crews arrive into Clermont-Ferrand. We are pleased to be finishing this opening leg at the Michelin Museum, which sits adjacent to the Michelin Motorsport facility in the companies’ home City. The Museum has agreed to remain open late to welcome us on the Sunday evening and we are sure that a gentle stroll through the exhibitions, possibly to try and locate the final MTC, hidden deep within the Michelin Maps archives will be a welcome treat after the first full day behind the wheel.
Having looked through the Michelin maps of old, maybe some ‘old map’ handouts could be in order to spice up a couple of the Regularities during the event! Watch this space…
It’s very clear from the word go that we’re now into ‘real’ France for us classic car enthusiasts – where rustic dwellings and sleepy villages drift into the beautiful mountainous backdrop as we travel through the deserted roads. A number of Regularities will challenge the crews as per the events title suggests and some authentic venues for our coffee and lunch halts will put us right back in the ‘good old days’. A couple of possible test venues have been visited and we are working hard to secure these to add to the fun!
The landscape takes a significant change as we head deep into the Tarn Gorge where the sound of classic cars burbling off the limestone walls will be a true delight on a crisp and bright February morning. Leaving the Tarn in our mirrors we climb high into the Cevennes National Park into some of the highest sections of our 2021 route. At this point on the recce we were glad of our winter tyres as we climbed above the coniferous trees into the baron scrub moorland of Mont Lozere.
The afternoon has a real treat in store for competitors when we get served the infamous ‘Tarte Pomme’ as has been tradition on the Monte Carlo Rally as they negotiate the road section towards the infamous Burzet – La Champ Raphael stage. Sadly, with a move away from the Ardeche region for the modern WRC event, rally enthusiast Yves and his apple tart have become redundant – that is until next February, when he has kindly agreed to host us as an official rest halt on the Winter Challenge and we will have time to look around his amazing rally museum. This rest halt conveniently also guides us beautifully into the roads of the Ardeche in time for the first night section of the event which will add a new dimension to the event and will hopefully live up to its reputation from the 2018 event when one of our podium finishers was quoted as saying “That was the best nights rallying I have ever experienced!”
The morning of Leg Four begins at a more sedate pace as the Rally transports itself across the Rhone Valley towards the Alpine landscapes ahead. A couple of fun regularities in the vineyards and rolling fields of the region offer some distractions and will focus the mind. Once again, the landscapes change greatly through the morning and the ascents to some famous Cols such as Col de Perty will be a true challenge before the route descends deep into another beautiful Gorge on its way East towards Sisteron. But that’s not all! Leg Four also has an extended ‘night section’ which will take place on the roads to the North East of Sisteron as we loop our way through yet more rally territories, including the infamous sequence of ascending hairpins, ‘Les Tourniquets’ towards Digne-les-Bains for the penultimate evening halt.
The final push towards the most famous Rally Col in the world – the Turini. The final day will be slightly less mileage than that of recent events thanks to our Hotel in Digne-les-Bains, but this also allows us to add some additional quality roads on our way, and we are set for a finale of five cracking Regularities culminating with the final blast up the Col de Turini to the finish of the 2021 event. Results will be finalised over lunch at the Les Trois Vallees Hotel on the Col so as we descend into the Principality, everybody can relax and look forward to the Awards Presentation in Monte-Carlo.
*Itinerary Subject to Change
|1||Dermot Carnegie||Paul Bosdet||TBA||0||0|
|2||Johan Alv Christensson||Maria Josefa Chapa de Alós||Ferrari 308 GTB||2||1975|
|3||David Coxon||Pete Hawkins||Austin Healey 3000 MK III||2912||1965|
|4||Nicholas Kershaw||Michael Kershaw||TBA||0||0|
|1||Ed Abbott||TBA||Jaguar XJ-S V12||5343||1979|
|2||Paul Bloxidge||Ian Canavan||Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk2||1||1985|
|3||Malcolm Dunderdale||Anita Wickins||Renault 8 Gordini||1350||1968|
|4||Mark Simpson||Liam Hammond||TBA||0||0|
|5||Thomas Herold||Marion Herold||Volkswagen Beetle 1303S||1970||1974|
|6||Peter Humphrey||Douglas Humphrey||Volvo PV544||1800||1958|
|7||Thomas Koerner||Udo Schauss||TBC TBC||0||0|
|8||Tim Lawrence||Tony Davies||MG B GT||1860||1967|
|9||Richard Leggett||Julian Green Green||Alfa Romeo Alfetta saloon||2||1976|
|10||Angus McQueen||TBA||BMW E21 323i||2955||1982|
|1||Simon Brown||Martin Jackson||Fiat X1/9||1500||1982|
|2||Nick Dawson||Alastair Dawson||Datsun 260Z||2600||1975|
|3||Michael Kershaw||Martin Riley||Land Rover Range Rover||4500||1981|
|4||Ken McAvoy||Wolfgang Schnittger||Mercedes 220 SE Coupe||2800||1963|
|5||Michael Moss||James Ewing||Tba||0||0|
|6||Nigel Perkins||Andrew Duerden||TBA||0||0|
|7||Paul Ruthven-Murray||Mark Rodbert||Austin A35||985||1958|
|8||Brian Scowcroft||Chris Ford||Chevrolet Fangio Coupe||3300||1936|
|9||David Scowcroft||Adam Scowcroft||Chevrolet Fangio Coupe||3300||1936|
|10||Toby Strauss||TBA||Saab 96||0||0|