The Automobile Club de Monaco has issued the itinerary it hopes will keep the World Rally Championship’s season-opening Monte Carlo Rally on course to go ahead for later this month.
The timetable for the January 21-24 event has been altered to fall in line with coronavirus-enforced curfew regulations coming from the French government.
The competitive action on Thursday, Friday and Saturday has been made earlier by 2h30m each day.
On Thursday, the opening Saint-Disdier – Corps test runs at 1408 instead of 1638, and the Saint-Maurice – Saint-Bonnet stage that follows starts at 1506 not 1736, meaning the crews will be back in Gap service at 1601 instead of 1831.
Friday January 22 [previous start time to new start time]
SS3 Aspremont – La Batie-des-Fonts 1, 0817 to 0610
SS4 Chalancon – Gumiane 1, 0938 to 0728
SS5 Montauban-sur-L’ouveze – Villebois-les-Pins, 1111 to 0901
SS6 Aspremont – La Batie-des-Fonts 2, 1447 to 1217
SS7 Chalancon – Gumiane 2, 1608 to 1338
Service in Gap comes forward to 1646.
The proposed second run at Montauban-sur-L’ouveze – Villebois-les-Pins (SS8) has been cancelled – getting the entire field through the 13.81-mile stage before the 1800 curfew would not be possible from the revised start time of 1511.
Saturday January 23 [previous start time to new start time]
SS9 La Breole – Selonnet 1, 0917 to 0630
SS10 Saint-Clement – Freissinieres, 1108 to 0818
SS11 La Breole – Selonnet 2, 1508 to 1208
Parc fermé in Monaco opens at 1608, three hours earlier than originally planned at 1908.
Sunday January 24
SS12 Puget Théniers – La Penne 1, 0830
SS13 Briançonnet – Entrevaux 1, 1008
SS14 Puget Théniers – La Penne 2, 1045
Regroup Briançonnet, 1125
SS15 Briançonnet – Entrevaux 2, 1218
Finish Monaco, 1408
The loss of the Montauban-sur-L’ouveze – Villebois-les-Pins test makes this shortest ever Monte Carlo Rally even shorter with 14 stages and 160 miles of competition.
All logistical aspects of the pre-start formalities have been moved forward to ensure nothing runs after 1800 – for example the recce window now runs from 0730-1630 instead of from 0800-2000 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
As previously outlined by DirtFish, regional government in Gap is understood to have accepted the revisions to the event with formal documentation and confirmation expected early next week.
As with all previous events run in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event’s organization is run under the supervision and restriction of regional and national government.
The French government is monitoring the coronavirus situation continually, with potential regulation and lockdown changes coming on January 13 and a week later on January 20.
On January 8, France registered 590 deaths and 19,814 new cases – a significant drop from a second wave peak on November 7 when 86,852 new coronavirus cases were reported and more than 1,000 people were dying each day.