Next year’s season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo (21 – 24 January) will feature a new-look finale following severe flooding in the Alpes-Maritimes hills above Monaco which traditionally host the closing leg.
More than 450mm of rain fell in some areas over 24 hours, the equivalent of nearly four months rainfall at this time of year, as Storm Alex hit south-east France early last month.
Rally organisers have moved Sunday’s closing leg further west to avoid the flood hit area, meaning a new Wolf Power Stage and the absence of the famous Col de Turini speed test from the itinerary.
“The organising committee of the 89th Monte-Carlo Rally has decided to modify the last loop on Sunday, in order to respect and preserve the victims in the flooded valleys where all road accesses must remain open to priority access,” a statement said.
The final leg will now comprise a double run of the 12.93km Puget-Théniers – La Penne stage and the 14.31km test from Briançonnet to Entrevaux. There will be no service between the loops and the latter will form the bonus points-paying live TV Wolf Power Stage.
“This couple of loops will be a premiere for a WRC finale at Monte-Carlo Rally, but they will be set on stages well known by rally fans,” organisers added.
The rest of the itinerary is unchanged from the original schedule announced in July. It starts in Gap on Thursday evening and finishes in Monaco on Sunday afternoon after 16 stages covering 303.52km.
Full itinerary here.