The winter historic rally organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) looks set for another successful year and appears not to have been affected by the credit crunch, with 380 applications received by the ACM. To reward race fans for their commitment, the ACM has decided to accept 340 applications rather than the 320 initially envisaged. The fortunate will, therefore, be receiving a letter in the next few days informing them that they have been enrolled into the 13th Monte Carlo Historic Rally.
Big names line up for “the Monte”
This year, as ever, drivers who have contributed to the history and renown of the World Rally Championship will once again take the stage for the Monte Carlo Historic Rally. Here are some of the biggest names:
— Bjorn Waldegard, famous Swedish driver, winner of the 1969 and 1970 Monte Carlo Rallies (RAMC) in a Porsche 911. Winner of 16 WRC rallies, named 1st ever WRC world champion rally driver in 1979, the first official year of the title.
— Jean Vinatier, whose name is closely linked to the Etretat-based Alpine brand, with which he won the French championship in 1969, in addition to victory in the 1964 Tour de Corse, and 3rd place in the 1969 RAMC. His lifelong co-pilot Jean-François Jacob will be in the seat beside him. Jean-François Jacob has written a magnificent book entitled “60 years of RAMC”.
— Bob Neyret, former professional driver for Citroen, drove Citroen DS in rallies and took part in several Monte Carlo Rallies. Later he founded Team Aseptogyl, whose female-only teams drove Autobianchis and Alpines, in their unforgettable pink and white team colours.
— Claude Laurent, whose name is also linked to Citroen, has driven in every conceivable type of rally event worldwide. 20 Tours de Corse, 20 Monte Carlo Rallies, ten Tours d’Europe, Kenya safaris, the Bandama, and all the WRC classic rallies.
— Bruno Saby, 1981 French Rally Champion in a Renault R5 Turbo, drove for Renault, Peugeot and Lancia in WRC rallies. He won the 1988 Monte Carlo Rally in a Lancia Delta.
— Marc Duez is a Belgian driver who has competed in all types of motorsport (karting, rally, sports prototype, single-seaters, GT, etc…)
— Patrick Landon, former rally director for Renault, recent winner of the Historic Tour de Corse rally.
— Not forgetting co-drivers Jean-François Fauchille, Bernard Occelli, Lans Helmer, Hans Sylvan, Willy Cave, etc…
Prominent Race Teams
— The best known team will certainly be Comas, this year entering no fewer than 10 Alpines, one of which will be decked out in the colours of the Gendarmerie Nationale, and driven by gendarmes.
— Team Bob Neyret with 5 Citroen DS.
— The chefs’ team, led by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Michel Chabran, who hails from the Drome department, accompanied by some of the biggest names in French cuisine: Parisian restaurateur Michel Rostang; Jean-Paul Lacombe, owner of the Leon de Lyon bistros; Jacques Lameloise de Chagny from Burgundy; and Jacques Genin, the chocolate specialist.
ACM Historic Vehicles Committee President Michel Ferry comments, “This year we have witnessed a change in the spread of nationalities represented, accentuated by the economic crisis. Spanish contestants have fallen by more than 30%, dropping from 65 to 43 teams, while Scandinavians have increased by more than 10%, from 70 to 81 teams. Germans are also getting a taste for the sport and have increased from 42 teams last year to 47 this year, and the British have also increased from 21 to 28. Italians have been consistent attenders, irrespective of the crisis – they have 44 teams as last year. 24 nationalities will be driving 40 brands of car, reflecting the current passion for historic events.”
Ferry continues, “2011, the centenary of the Monte Carlo Rally, is therefore hotly anticipated. Contestants should be starting from far-flung departure points of old. There is talk of Warsaw, Marrakech, Glasgow and Athens…Until then, good driving to all 340 selected for the 13th edition of the Monte Carlo Historic Rally, who will set off on the roads of Europe on January 28th next year!”
[Source: Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique]