The Monte-Carlo Rally is the first leg of the 2020 World Rally Championships, and has been a part of motorsport history since 1911. The challenge, which is organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco, is to start on 23 January, and will see the best drivers in the world take on four days of intense special stages through the Monaco countryside.
A hotly-contested event
On Thursday 23 January, two previous winners of the Monte-Carlo Rally will once again come head-to-head for their favourite race: six- and nine-time winners of the World Rally Championships Sébastien Ogier and Sébastien Loeb will be back to take on a challenge with a taste of home. Loeb’s co-driver, Daniel Elena, is a Monaco native, whilst Ogier grew up in Gap, where he will spend one of the race’s three days competing. Title holder Ogier will arrive at the start line for the first time in a Toyota Yaris this year, with Citroën having officially withdrawn as WRC manufacturer. Two of their main competitors will be alongside them: the defending world champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai), and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), who pushed to within touching distance of victory in Monaco in 2019 by a record of just two seconds!
>>>Watch the videos of our interviews with Sébastien Loeb, Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville at the Monte-Carlo Rally start line.
2020 Monte-Carlo Rally: an inventive new course
Head to the Quai Albert 1er in Monaco on Thursday 23 January to witness the crews head off for the 88th Monaco rally. The Automobile Club de Monaco has designed a new route specially for the occasion, with a quarter of the course completely different to last year. It will kick off with two special night stages, which will see competitors journey through the departments of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Hautes-Alpes. On Friday 24, they’ll start the day in Gap, before driving almost 120 kilometres through the Gap countryside and the Durance Valley. Saturday will see them battling it out for the World Championship around the Serre-Ponçon lake, then roaming through the Champsaur Valley (where they may well be met with snow). Before turning back towards Monaco – which is expected to be at around 13:40 on Sunday – the route will take drivers along the side of the Col de Turini in Alpes-Maritimes, after a timed start from La Bollène-Vésubie.
Competitors will then head to Northern Europe in February for Rally Sweden, which is already promising to be a decisive stage in winning the world title in the final overall ranking!