Gap will again be the basis of the Rallye Monte-Carlo starting from 2024. The French municipality announced it a few hours ago with a brief note that also appeared on its social pages.
The confirmation came directly from the mayor of the French town, Roger Didier. Gap will once again host the Service Park after two seasons in which the WRC prologue base was moved to the port of Monte-Carlo. Certainly a fascinating and scenographic place, but impractical if we consider where the special stages are held.
“It is clearly a huge satisfaction for our municipality,” said Roger Didier, mayor of Gap. “We thank the Automobile Club de Monaco for the renewed trust in us, especially to Guy de Alexandris (general commissioner of the Automobile Club de Monaco, ed.)”.
“The excellent work we have done over the years has been recognized. We can enjoy a perfect environment for some wonderful special stages, but also a great rally culture that is part of our territory”.
This confirmation comes a few days after the end of the 2023 Rallye Monte-Carlo, in which the drivers who competed did not find the classic weather conditions that have always characterized the main event of the WRC.
No snow, except along the roadside and on the mountain peaks. No ice or mixed conditions, if not artificially created by some spectators who threw water on the asphalt in Thursday’s night specials, making fun of the world champion Kalle Rovanpera and Thierry Neuville.
The promoters of the WRC, in the person of Simon Larkin, had let Motorsport.com know that the venue would not change in the future, that the port of Monte-Carlo would continue to host the Service Park. But his words were denied within hours.
“It creates a good atmosphere for everyone. The only reason we would move from Monaco is the endless cycle of construction in this port area.”
“We’re at the limit of the number of competitors we can have in this area, and the rally was small, with well over-entered numbers, but that’s the compromise we have to make.”
“If and when something comes along that could cost us a couple of hundred square feet, then we’ll set a limit on bringing here for a year, but we’ll see.”
“WRC Promoter and ACM are determined to be here in Monaco with the service park, and even if that means compromising the amount of space for the teams, it’s a decision we’re willing to make.”
A few days after these words, here is the press release from the municipality of Gap (which received the clearance from ACM), which cancels the declarations of the WRC promoters, suggesting disagreements between the parties in question.
Not only between the ACM and the WRC promoters, but also the drivers themselves, at the end of the 2023 event, expressed their perplexities about this year’s route. The absence of snow and ice made the Rallye Monte-Carlo atypical to say the least. For this reason, many have asked for evidence to be restored in which atmospheric factors are a challenging factor for everyone.
“Unfortunately, when you rally mainly in the south like we did last year, there’s a big chance that this could happen (absence of snow and ice),” said Sébastien Ogier, winner of Rallye Monte-Carlo for the ninth time in his career.
“Global warming is there, unfortunately we know it. I don’t want to say it because I’m from there, but I think we’ve all missed the gap and not only there but also in the surrounding area, there is the potential for some great milestones.”
“I’ve heard that maybe there’s a chance to go back there. I’m sure it would add some excitement to this rally and I’m sure the fans would like to see us battling against the conditions and tire choice.”
Hyundai Motorsport driver Thierry Neuville echoed this: “The base may still be Monaco, but we have to have the stops further north,” he said. “Monte Carlo without snow is not the same”.
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