The Monte Carlo Historic Rally 2011 will be staged January 26th to February 2nd. The 14th Monte Carlo Historic Rally will pay homage to the rally that spawned it, the Monte Carlo Rally, which itself will be celebrating its centenary year.
The 2011 Monte Carlo Historic Rally will celebrate the centenary of the Monte Carlo Rally with a completely new itinerary for the concentration legs. The organising committee of the Historic Rally has elected to honour the early days of the Monte Carlo Rally by replacing the usual start points with three historic starting cities. They selected Glasgow, Marrakech and Warsaw from several candidate cities, adding two intermediate starting points, Barcelona and Reims, for very old cars or those with small engine capacities.
The 2011 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique format has attracted many competitors, resulting in a resounding success for the winter historic rally organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco, with no fewer than 360 applications received. As a token of appreciation for all these devoted fans of the event, the ACM has decided to accept 328 applications rather than the 300 initially planned.
First indications show that the British are back again after an absence over the last few years. Drivers from Eastern Europe, North America and Japan are also showing good numbers. In all, 24 nationalities will participate, driving 42 different makes of vehicle. Warsaw is the most popular departure city, followed by Marrakech, Reims, Glasgow and finally Barcelona.
On 29th January, contestants will gather in the Principality of Monaco, and then head off to Saint-Andre des Alpes (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) for the start of the first Regularity Stage.
Michel Ferry, ACM Historic Vehicles Committee President, said: “We are extremely pleased with the number of competitors who have chosen to leave from the most distant cities – we were not sure what to expect with Barcelona and Reims being reserved for only small-engined vehicles. The mix of nationalities participating has continued to change, with fewer Spaniards – a result of the financial crisis, no doubt – but a return of the British and Eastern Europeans. The Germans have once again confirmed their passion for the event and Italian commitment has not wavered, in good times and bad. 24 nationalities will be represented in all, driving 42 makes of car – a clear reflection of the event’s large number of devoted followers.”
The Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique will combine a mixture of great drivers that have forged World Rally Championship history alongside motorsport personalities. Renault, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Renault 4, is entering three cars, driven by Jean Ragnotti, “Manu Guigou”, and motorsport journalists.
Additional star entrants include Bob Neyret, a former driver for Citroen, who drove a Citroen DS in rallies and participated in several Monte Carlo Rallies, 1967 Monte Carlo Rally winner Rauno Aaltonen, as well as Bruno Saby, 1981 French Rally Champion. Saby drove for Renault, Peugeot and Lancia and won the 1988 Monte Carlo Rally.
[Source: Monte Carlo Historic Rally]