OPEL ASCONA’S HISTORIC
‘Ice spies’ help the winning Belgian team on the road to victory in Monte Carlo
An Opel Ascona 2000 driven by the Belgian team of Michel Decremer and Yannick Albert has won this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.
The winners took the lead after the sixth stage, but lost time following engine trouble in the 13th stage. However, they made up time in the final stage managing to keep their nearest rivals at bay.
Decremer – who was fourth in 2016’s rally – and Yannick finished the last stage ahead of two Italian pairs, Gianmaria Aghem and Diego Cumino in a Lancia Fulvia Coupé 1200, and Gian Mario Fontanella and Stefano Scrivani in a Fiat 128 Rally.
The winning team was one of four supported by CarCave, a Belgian company run by petrolheads that combines storage and restoration facilities with the supply of classic and sports cars. Seven times Belgian champion and European rally champion Patrick Snijers and CarCave’s Roel Gerearts scouted ahead on the rally route and reported icy conditions and other potential hazards to their teams.
Father and son hopefuls Gordon and David Glen finished 224th in a 1978 Opel Kadette GTE, just ahead of Philip Swain and David Green in a Ford Escort RS2000 MkI. Patrick Haley and Michael Hyrons in a Mini Cooper S – the very car Paddy Hopkirk drove to sixth in the 1967 Monte – finished 230th. Ranald White and Karsten Brown were placed 169th in their Rover 2000 SC.
The 20th Rallye Monte Carlo Historique had starting points in Bad Homburg (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), Copenhagen (Denmark), Lisbon (Portugal), Paisley (UK), Reims (France), and Stockholm (Sweden) and around 300 teams took part. Each stage is approximately 18.5 miles long and teams have to keep to an imposed speed to the best of their abilities – every minute counts with time penalties incurred for late arrivals.
Every minute counts late arrivals incur time penalties
ABOVE Rally Monte Carlo Historique 2017 outright winners Yannick Albert and Michel Decremer celebrate with their Opel Ascona 2000.
RIGHT The winning Opel Ascona 2000 – car number 25 – coped with this year’s Historique’s treacherous conditions thanks to some valuable ‘gen’ provided by CarCave’s ‘ice spies’.