In late January, the 18th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, one of Europe’s major historic rallies will be held all across Europe. The rally will start in five cities in 2015:
Competitors can choose which city that they want to start in.
2015 Monte Carlo Historique Rally Poster Is A Tribute To The 1955 Monte Carlo Rally Winning Sunbeam-Talbot Mk III
For the first time in this rally there will be three average speeds that will apply in the rally – low, intermediate, and high. While competitors can apply to be in the low or intermediate speed classes, the organizer’s Selection Committee will determine which cars can be accepted in those classes.
This Monte Carlo Historique Rally is open to all the cars which participated in Rallye Automobiles Monte-Carlo between 1955 and 1980.
Well before the rally starts details of the route are published by the organizers. I have included a page from the route for those competitors who chose to start in Barcelona.
First Page Of The Concentration Leg From Barcelona
The section from Barcelona to Saint Chinian is 406 kilometers long which must be traveled in 8 hours 30 minutes for an average speed of 47.76 kilometers per hour. While that is the overall average, the required average speed between some controls can vary. For example, if we look at the leg between the Control Points at Amelie-Les-Bains-Palalda and Rennes-Les-Bains, we can work out that the distance between the two controls is about 108 kilometers. In order to make the time to the next control, the crews must average 52.00 kilometers per hour. The map below, showing these two controls at a scale of 1:1,000,000, does not show the roads in great detail, but if you spend some time with mapping programs you will see that many of the roads are very twisty and remember that the route goes over the Pyrenees Mountains.
When looking at the instructions, it is important to know that some of the route number changes do not involve a turn or intersection, but could be a simple name change of the same apparent road. This can make route following tricky. Also look at the schedule from Barcelona. The first car is away in the early evening and the arrival at Saint Chinian is scheduled for the middle of the night. Therefore good lights will be required for reading street names and for general route following. There are no Time Allowances or thrown legs, so missing a turn can be very harmful to your score because of the winter road conditions on challenging roads both work against making up time.
Circled Location Of Two Controls Out Of Barcelona
Because the routes are published in advanced of the rally, the rally navigators have to opportunity to do their own preparation work. During this period of time, navigators should be preparing their own route books. This is very interesting for rally navigators like me, who then can customize their information to suit their own planned approach to the rally.
With respect to navigation tools, the organizers have an interesting rule about the use of odometers and rally computers. The following is a quote from the rules of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique:
“To preserve the aesthetic integrity of cars and conformity with the period of the vehicle, only one measuring instrument of distance with mechanical display can be installed permanently on the dashboard of the car.
The use of any device with electronic display, or not, will be authorized, provided that it is temporarily fixed, without any modification of the dashboard (cut, etc.), and necessarily removed in the “parcs fermés”, under pain of penalties.”
This rule would mean that mechanical odometers like a Halda Tripmaster or Twinmaster can be left in place, but electronic odometers must be removed every night.
After driving around 788 to 2263 kilometres throughout Europe, all of the competitors will meet up in Saint-André-les-Alpes in France on Saturday, 31st, January to take part in the first Regularity Zone (ZR). The teams will then drive toward the Principality of Monaco for a first night of well-deserved rest, after a very long and exhausting concentration route.
On the three days, from February 1st to 3rd, all of the teams will compete over a common routes to finalize the rally results.
The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique is very popular in Europe, but especially in France, as many of the competing teams are based in France. There are not many American entrants, but some Americans who have competed in this rally have done very well. The team of John Buffum/Ralph Beckman finished second twice in this rally in 2004 and 2005, with John driving Ralph’s restored 1967 Barracuda. John Buffum also finished third in 2000 and Ralph finished third in 1999 as well.
John Buffum/Ralph Beckman At Rallye Monte Carlo Historique in Ralph’s 1967 Plymouth Barracuda (1)
For more information on this rally, check out their website at the following address:
Good luck to all of the competitors who take part in this challenging rally!