Monte Carlo Rally edges closer to getting green light

WRC season opener appears to have weathered crunch regional government meeting deciding its fate


DirtFish understands that this month’s Monte Carlo Rally has been given a green light to proceed following a regional government meeting in Gap on Wednesday afternoon.

The Automobile Club de Monaco was unable to confirm such news, but DirtFish sources have indicated the decision will be communicated on Thursday.

One source immediately questioned the validity of any regional decision, however.

The source local to Gap told DirtFish: “We know there will be another decision coming from the health defense council on January 13 and this is the one which I guess we have to wait for and listen for.

“The French government and [French Prime Minister Jean] Castex can change everything then.”

Castex is expected to defer decisions on the re-opening of ski areas in the Hautes-Alpes region, in which Gap sits, and other areas in the French Alps until that January 13 meeting.

Said meeting comes one day before the service park is due to open in Gap, with the teams arriving from January 14 to start setting up the service park.

The recce is scheduled to begin at 8am on Monday, January 18.

One team source told DirtFish on Wednesday night: “I think we have to believe we are starting Monte Carlo when we are at the start line of the first stage and not before.

“Everything is changing so quickly in France right now, it’s nearly impossible to talk about what tomorrow is bringing – how can we know what will be the story in two weeks?”

Beyond the question of whether the event will run, there are also strict restrictions on who can enter France until at least January 6 – with British citizens largely being kept out.

Words:David Evans

Photography:Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool