Monte Carlo Rally: an exceptional race filled with thrills and adrenaline rushes


At the end of January, the Principality of Monaco comes to life with a prestigious sporting event: the Monte Carlo Rally. The ‘Monté’ has been an unfaltering success story over the past 80 years. Behind the scenes at a truly exceptional race.

The story of a widely venerated race

1911: 23 cars all set off from cities scattered around Europe with the same goal in mind: to be the first to arrive in Monaco. Traveling at an average speed of 10 kilometers per hour, the contestants braved technical difficulties and the forces of nature to take on this challenge. This first edition proved to be a whirlwind of emotion for participants and members of the public alike, and a phenomenal success for the Association Sport Automobile Vélocipédique Monégasque: the very next year, the number of contestants quadrupled! Year after year, the crowds that flocked here grew, and the race gradually became an unmissable sporting event. While today’s drivers rev their engines in the hope of breaking new records, the spirit of the race has remained the same, and thousands of spectators still gather by the roadsides to egg the drivers on. For the past 20 years, a new event held a few days after the main event has been keeping the magic alive: the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique sees vintage cars that took part between 1955 and 1980 go head to head once more. These old cars set off from several major European cities in a tribute to the original format.

A fixture on the rally calendar

Might one describe the Monte Carlo Rally as unique? Undoubtedly. It is the oldest of the world’s major rallies and the prestige surrounding its winners encourages drivers to show ever more daring and flair, year after year. The Monte Carlo Rally has been a part of the WRC (World Rally Championship) since 1973, making it an unmissable race for all motorsport aficionados. Sébastien Loeb has won the race 7 times! Hobbyists can also test their times against the pros in this race where spin-offs abound: featuring a night-time stage and 2 days of racing followed by 3 timed races on Sunday, drivers need nerves of steel and a heavy helping of passion to reach the end of the circuit that changes every year. Spectators look on, shoveling snow into the bends to add an extra element of suspense to a race that is tantalizing enough as it is.

Monaco rallies together

The entire Principality throws itself into celebrating this exclusive ode to motorsports. In the lead-up to the race, onlookers can come and admire the cars at the Place du Casino, before the starting gun marks the beginning of several days of intense sporting activity. The Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and the Salle des Etoiles host the Automobile Club de Monaco and organize glamorous receptions throughout the event. After the race itself, Prince Albert personally awards the winners their prizes during an official ceremony open to the public on the Place du Palais.

Go behind the scenes at the Monte Carlo Rally on the race’s official website.