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Chris Bruce2012-01-17 09:42:03

2012 Rally Monte Carlo Preview and History

2011 Rally Monte Carlo Preview

The 2012 Monte Carlo Rally begins tomorrow to launch the 2012 WRC series. It will be the first time since 2008 that Monte Carlo has been on the WRC calendar, although it was a part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge from 2009 through 2011. 

The Monte Carlo Rally is one of the oldest events in motorsports. Prince Albert I inaugurated the first event in 1911, and the rally ran yearly until 1939. The rally picked back up in 1949 and was canceled again in 1974 because of a shortened FIA Rally calendar due to the worldwide oil crisis. It has been part of the rally calendar whether WRC or IRC ever since then. 

The 1966 competition was incredibly controversial because the first four finishers were disqualified. The four cars, three Minis and a Ford Cortina, were using single filament headlight bulbs, while the rules dictated dual-filament bulbs. At the time it was alleged that the organizers were favoring the fourth place Citroen ID. 

Since 1973 the race has been run in January, which gives the race disparate conditions each year. Some times it is run in snowy conditions that make the roads especially slick. Other years, the race can be a dry, tarmac rally. Still other years, offer a mix where snow exists just in the shade of the French Alps and makes it especially difficult to be a driver. 

The most well remembered years of the Monte Carlo Rally were certainly during the 60s. In 1964, Paddy Hopkirk won in a Mini, and the it continued to win in 1965 and 1967. By 1975, Lancia took over the event with the Stratos. It won in 1975,1976, 1977 and again in 1979. In the Group B-era of the mid-1980s, Lancia dominated the Monte Carlo Rally again with the Delta Integrale winning in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992.

In the modern era winning has been as dominated by Citroen as it was by Lancia in the 80s. Mitsubitshi and Subaru fought back and forth in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but then Citroen took over winning in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.

The Monte Carlo Rally runs from January 17-22.

Below are a group of videos showing historic clips from the Monte Carlo Rally and the Citroen team testing for the 2012 event. They are in chronological order. 

Source: WRC


1 comment

Cool videos!
18.01.2012 @ 09:44


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