The Monte Carlo Rally’s most famous stage, Col de Turini, will become the powerstage for the 2023 World Rally Championship opener, in one of several changes that have been made for next year’s itinerary.
La Bollène-Vésubie–Col de Turini will run in a revised format for 2023, starting from the hamlet of Camp de Millo before going eastward up the Col towards the Turini summit.
The famous mountain pass had been entirely absent from the 2021 Monte itinerary before returning this year, but with only a single pass on the opening night.
While it will now host the rally-ending powerstage, Col de Turini will also retain its slot as a Thursday evening night stage, in addition to a third running on Sunday morning.
That opening night of action promises to be one of the toughest as after the Turini is traversed, WRC crews will take on the longest stage of the rally, Cabanette–Col de Castillon, at 15.78 miles in length.
Cabanette–Col de Castillon also features a first for the Monte Carlo Rally: a single stage that contains five separate mountain passes to traverse.
There are other key modifications away from the stages.
Before this year’s edition of the rally teams expressed concern at the lack of midday service on the Friday of the rally itinerary, given Rally1 cars were making their competition debut.
But those cars will be tested even further in 2023, as there will be no midday service on any leg of the rally.
An old Monte tradition has also been scrapped, where only the 50 best placed cars in the overall classification at the end of Saturday would be allowed to compete on Sunday.
That was tweaked slightly last year to accommodate an exception for Rally1 cars that were outside the top 50. But now the rule has been done away with entirely, with any car still running at the end of Saturday allowed to press on into Sunday.
There are several familiar stages in the itinerary, especially on Friday and Saturday.
Two passes of Roure–Beuil, Puget-Théniers–Saint-Antonin and Briançonnet–Entrevaux all feature on Friday, while Saturday has only five stages, with two passes of Malijai–Puimichel and Saint-Geniez–Thoard respectively followed by a night stage on Ubraye–Entrevaux, the longest of the day.
In addition to two passes of the Col de Turini, Sunday also features an all-time classic Monte stage, Lucéram–Lantosque, run twice.
Monte Carlo Rally 2023 – Provisional itinerary
Thursday, January 19
SD – 9:31am – Sainte-Agnès – 1.42 miles
SS1 – 8:18pm – La Bollène-Vésubie–Col de Turini – 9.64 miles SS2 – 9:11pm – Cabanette–Col de Castillon – 15.78 miles
Friday, January 20
SS3 – 9:14am – Roure–Beuil – 11.39 miles
SS4 – 10:22am – Puget-Théniers–Saint-Antonin – 12.46 miles
SS5 – 11:25am – Briançonnet–Entrevaux – 9.13 miles
SS6 – 2:08pm – Roure–Beuil – 11.39 miles
SS7 – 3:16pm – Puget-Théniers–Saint-Antonin – 12.46 miles
SS8 – 4:19pm – Briançonnet–Entrevaux – 9.13 miles
Saturday, January 21
SS9 – 9:38am – Malijai–Puimichel – 10.86 miles
SS10 – 11:26am – Saint-Geniez–Thoard – 12.92 miles
SS11 – 2:08pm – Malijai–Puimichel – 10.86 miles
SS12 – 3:56pm – Saint-Geniez–Thoard – 12.92 miles
SS13 – 5:59pm – Ubraye–Entrevaux – 13.61 miles
Sunday, January 22
SS14 – 8:01am – Lucéram–Lantosque – 11.79 miles
SS15 – 9:08pm – La Bollène-Vésubie–Col de Turini – 9.64 miles
SS16 – 10:40am – Lucéram–Lantosque – 11.79 miles
SS17 – 12:18pm – La Bollène-Vésubie–Col de Turini – 9.64 miles