The Automobile Club de Monaco has revealed the itinerary of the Rally Monte Carlo 2023 this Friday. Following tradition, the alpine round will lift the curtain on the World Rally Championship season from January 19 to 22.
The route of the 91st edition of the legendary WRC round is more compact than in previous editions and gives greater prominence to the ‘Col de Turini’ stage, which will open the competition on Thursday night, and host two more stages on Sunday.
The second of these will be the round-ending ‘Power Stage’. With these changes, organizers are obviously trying to raise the bar for participants as well as increase the entertainment level for the public.
The logistics’ centre of the Monte Carlo Rally 2023 will remain in the port area of the Principality. This site had been recovered for the job last January for the first time since 2006, a role previously fulfilled by the towns of Valence and Gap.
Over half the length of the route has been changed from that of 2022 but the glamorous starting ceremony will continue to take place on Thursday night in the Place du Casino. Later on, the action will begin with two challenging night stages.
— World Rally Championship (@OfficialWRC) July 22, 2022
‘La Bollène-Vésubie / Col de Turini’ (15.52 km) will be tackled in a totally new way, starting for the first time from ‘Camp de Millo’. After that, contenders will make history in ‘La Cabanette / Col de Castillon’ (25.41 km), crossing five consecutive mountain passes for the first time in the history of Rally Montecarlo. These are the Col de l’Orme, the Col de l’Ablé, the Col de Braus, the Col Saint-Jean and the Col de Castillon.
On Friday, the entourage of Rally Montecarlo 2023 will travel north for two, three section loops, making up a total of 106.18 timed kilometres, separated by a tire change at ‘Puget-Théniers’. After ‘Roure / Beuil‘ (18.33 km), a special stage at the foot of the Mercantour National Park, the time will come for a new battle in ‘Puget-Théniers / Saint-Antonin’ (20.06 km), before the ‘Briançonnet / Entrevaux‘ stage (14.70 km), which last January hosted the Power Stage.
On Saturday, crews will continue on their south of France tour until they reach the Alps in Haute-Provence. It will be in that region that they will come head-to-head again at the ‘Malijai / Puimichel‘ (17.47km) and ‘Saint-Geniez / Thoard‘ (20.79km), a scaled-down version of the challenging ‘Sisteron‘ stage, which includes the dreaded ‘Col de Fontbelle‘ . After a tire change, participants will do a second loop of the same itinerary ending at night in ‘Ubraye / Entrevaux’ (21.91 km).
The battlefield for Sunday, the final day of competition, will consist of two well-known scenarios northeast of the Maritime Alps. Contenders will perform two passes of a long version of the ‘Lucéram / Lantosque‘ (18.97 km) and ‘La Bollène-Vésubie /Col de Turini’ (15.52 km). The last ‘Power Stage’, will crown the victor.
The ‘survivors’ of the Monte Carlo Rally 2023 will then descend from the mountains that surround the Principality in the afternoon to receive the honours at the arrival ceremony in the Place du Casino.
Finally, just noting that none of the 17 stages and 314.52 km will have a mid-stage service, an extra challenge considering the typical adverse weather conditions of the French Alps at the end of January. A hefty feat, even for the greatest heroes of the specialty.
Images of Rally Monte Carlo 2023: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT.