MONTE ROUTE IN HUGE OVERHAUL JACK BENYON
“Finally, good news for Welsh rallying”
Next year’s Monte Carlo Rally – the first event for the next generation of World Rally Cars – will be 85 per cent new compared with this year.
The Automobile Club de Monaco revealed details of the 2017 season opener earlier this week. The biggest change to the itinerary is the loss of the legendary Sisteron stage, which has traditionally been the last action in the HauteAlpes region before the cars head south for Monaco.
The season officially starts on Monday January 16, when the crews embark on two and a half days of recce in the French Alps. Shakedown remains the same as last year, close to Gap. The ceremonial start is out of Monaco on Thursday January 19 at 1815 with two stages planned before an overnight in Gap.
The second of those two tests (Bayons-beziers) is new and replaces Sisteron on the run south.
Friday is the longest day of the event with 100 miles of reversing the running order of the top 10 on the final day.
The Manchester driver said he sympathised with WRC’S Sebastien Ogier and his plight at running first on the road.
“The stages felt perfect but it was slow because it was loose. I know how Ogier feels now, it’s mad.
“We went to bed and only then found out we were first on the road. We didn’t know [on the super special]. We were 11th going in to the superspecial but pushed on a moved up to 10th. That put us first on the road.”