—¬Ň“ő¬Õ» : A legendary race - Monte Carlo Rally - 21 January 2004 - 22:55
First round of FIA WRC 2004
The traditional opening round of the FIA World Rally Championship is the 72nd edition of the Monte Carlo Rally. The legendary race will start the 2004 season next weekend (23-25 January) and will include 15 stages (389,32 of competitive kilometres and a total distance of 1 413,97 km). The event promises to be as difficult as ever.
Despite its popularity, the Monte Carlo Rally remains a one of the most challenging race on the calendar. The stage roads are sometimes icy or covered by snow on 10, 20 or 30 % of the distance, bringing extremely changing grip level conditions.
The 2004 itinerary of the famous race is nearly identical to last year's edition despite a few minor changes for the first two legs of the event. The first day of racing will feature classical stages such as "Selonnet - Breziers" (SS 1 and 3), "Piegut - Urtis" (SS 2 and 4) and finally "Laborel - L'Aubergerie" (SS 5) and "Rosans - L'Epine" (SS 6). The drivers will face a total of more than 140 timed kilometres in leg 1.
On the next day, the drivers will start with a new stage "Lantosque - Col de Braus" (SS 7) that will go through Luceram, Col Saint-Roch, Col de l'Ome and Col de l'Able, which is good for a total of around 35 km against the clock! The next rounds "Tourette du Chateau - Saint Antonin" (SS 8 and 10) and "Sigale - Col de Bleine" (SS 9 and 11) will be run a second time in the afternoon after the regrouping break in Monaco. Once again, the drivers will face around 140 timed kilometres on the second day.
A classic stage awaits the competitors to start the last day of the Monte Carlo Rally. On the programme, two stages "Sospel - Turini - La Bollene" (SS 12 and 14) and "Lantosque - Luceram" (SS 13 and 15) that are run twice each. The first car is expected at the finish around 14:30.
With a total of 390 timed kilometres, 15 stages (three more than last year) and almost 50 crews at the start, the Monte Carlo Rally promises to be an unforgettable race once again.
CAPSIS International [16/01/04 - 19:31]
New car, new team, new challenges (Monte Carlo : Team by team analysis)
The winter break didn't last very long. The drivers taking part in the World Rally Championship will be back in action at the end of the month to face the difficult stages of the famous Monte Carlo Rally.
Five teams are officially competing in the 2004 championship. Each of these teams will have two drivers to score points in the Constructors' Championship. The goal will be to beat CitroŽn, who won the Monte Carlo Rally last year in style, taking the three podium positions with Sebastien Loeb in first place, Colin McRae in second position and Carlos Sainz in third place.
Subaru World Rally Team
Petter Solberg will have the prestigious reigning world champion status when he will make it to the start of the Monte Carlo Rally. The Norwegian will work hard to keep his title against a horde of determined rivals.
Solberg proved to be very competitive on asphalt - winning the Tour de Corse - but his challenge will be even more difficult next weekend. Firstly, the Monte Carlo Rally is not considered a true asphalt event and secondly, Petter has never been very successful in this rally.
In 2002, Solberg was able to finish in sixth place despite going off the road in stage seven. Last year, the Norwegian retired during stage 5 because of an accident, just like in 2001.
This year the teams can only score points in the constructors' championship with two drivers. Subaru chose Mikko Hirvonen as Solberg's teammate. The Finn had a learning season last year at Ford but will it be enough for him to compete against the very best in WRC ? Time will tell and his result at the Monte Carlo Rally will be a good indication.
Last year CitroŽn dominated the race, taking the first three positions at the finish. This year, there will be only two CitroŽn drivers. Last year's winner - Sebastien Loeb - and Carlos Sainz.
It will be Loeb's fourth Monte Carlo this year. "Seb" participated in this rally for the first time in 2001, finishing second in the A6 category. He won the event in 2002 at the wheel of a Xsara WRC but he was later disqualified. Last year, Loeb took his revenge and won the Monte Carlo Rally. The Frenchman will undoubtedly be one of the favourite to win this year.
It will a 15th start at the Monte Carlo for Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard won the event three times (1991,1995 and 1998) and finished on the podium for the past three years: second in 2001 and 2002 and third in 2003. Carlos will be a serious candidate for the win as well.
The Peugeot 206 WRC has been competitive in most of the WRC events but the Monte Carlo Rally has never been a good race for the French team. Their drivers had all kinds of misfortunes in the past: penalties, accidents, mechanical problems, etc. The 206 never seems to shine at the Monte Carlo...
The 206 is replaced by the new 307 WRC this year. A car that has a lot of potential according to Peugeot. Let's hope for the team that the new car is more successful than its predecessor on the famous season opener...
Peugeot will count on two experienced drivers to win: Marcus Gronholm and Freddy Loix. Gronholm won two championship titles with Peugeot but without having a victory at the Monte Carlo. Marcus finished in 13th place last year after losing valuable time in stage 9. The Finn is competitive on all type of surfaces and conditions and can be considered as a serious candidate for the victory.
It is difficult to know the real potential of Freddy Loix. The Belgian was not able to get outstanding results in the last few years but didn't have a car to be competing for wins. Peugeot is offering to Loix a great opportunity to show his talent. Freddy will have to avoid accidents like he had in the last two editions of the Monte Carlo.
Ford Rallye Sport
Markko Martin was the only driver to keep up with the Citroen drivers last year at the Monte Carlo. The Estonian lost third place in the very last stage to Carlos Sainz but was nonetheless very competitive.
His performance was even more impressive, knowing that Markko was driving the "old" Focus WRC02 (the new car only appeared in New Zealand). With the latest Focus, Martin will be considered the biggest threat to the Citroen drivers' supremacy.
Like last year, Francois Duval is the second Ford driver. The Belgian starts the season on his favourite surface, asphalt. Last year Francois made contact with a tree during stage 4 and lost a lot of time by finishing the stage on three wheels. However, he was able to finish the race in seventh position and to score some points in the championship. Duval might not be able to match Martin's pace just yet but he is constantly improving.
Mitsubishi Motors Sports
Mitsubishi is back ! After taking a sabbatical year, the Japanese team returns to WRC competition with a new Lancer WRC.
A complete change for Mitsubishi, who considers 2004 as a transitional year to develop the new car.
For this mission, Mitsubishi will have four drivers. Gilles Panizzi is their number one driver and will be present in every round of the championship. Gianluigi Galli, Kristian Sohlberg and Dani Sola will take turns at the wheel of the second car.
As an asphalt specialist, Gilles Panizzi has been competitive in the past at the Monte Carlo Rally but has never been able to win the race. In 2002 and 2003, Gilles got penalties even before the start of the first stage. However, Panizzi is fast on this kind of surface but with a new car starting a development phase, his chances of winning are rather limited.
Gianluigi Galli will be Panizzi's teammate for the first event of the season. The Italian took part three times to the Monte Carlo. He finished in 12th place in 2000 but retired and 2001 and 2002. It will be a first experience for Galli behind the wheel of a WRC car in a World Rally Championship event.
CAPSIS International [16/01/04 - 22:12]
The schedule and past winners of 72nd Rallye Monte Carlo
(Only a few more daysbefore the start of the 2004 WRC season)
The Rallye Monte Carlo is part of:
2004 FIA Drivers' World Rally Championship
2004 FIA Constructors' World Rally Championship
2004 FIA Junior World Rally Championship
2004 Prince Albert of Monaco Challenge
The schedule is in local time (GMT + 1).
Tuesday 20 January 2004
Start of reconnaissance
Wednesday 21 January 2004
End of reconnaissance
18h00 - 24h00 : Technical and administrative verifications (Monaco)
Thursday 22 January 2004
Shakedown between Sospel, le col de Castillon and le col St-Jean, (Arrival on D54)
08h00 - 12h00 : P1 and P2 drivers
12h00 - 13h30 : P3 drivers and other competitors
15h00 : Official picture, Jardins des Boulingrins, Monaco
15h30 : Press conference, Monaco
18h30 : Ceremonial start, Place du Casino, Monaco
Friday 23 January 2004
07h00 : Start of Leg 1 in Tallard
6 stages (144,13 km)
19h48 : End of Leg 1 in Monaco
Saturday 24 January 2004
06h40 : Start of Leg 2 in Monaco
5 stages (140,79 km)
19h23 : End of Leg 2 in Monaco
Sunday 25 January 2004
07h30 : Start of Leg 3 in Monaco
4 stages (104,40 km)
14h30 : Event finish in Monaco
SPECIAL STAGES AND SERVICE AREAS
Leg 1 : Friday 23 January
07h48 : SS 1 SELONNET - BREZIERS 1 (22,64 km)
08h26 : SS 2 PIEGUT - URTIS 1 (20,18 km)
09h01 : Service area A in Tallard (20')
10h09 : SS 3 SELONNET - BREZIERS 2 (22,64 km)
10h47 : SS 4 PIEGUT - URTIS 2 (20,18 km)
11h22 : Grouping area in Tallard (max 15')
11h37 : Service area B in Tallard (20')
13h05 : SS 5 LABOREL - L´AUBERGERIE (26,68 km)
13h48 : SS 6 ROSANS - L´EPINE (31,81 km)
15h23 : Service area C in Tallard (45')
Leg 2 : Saturday 24 January
06h40 : Service area D in Monaco (20')
08h18 : SS 7 LANTOSQUE - COL DE BRAUS (34,41 km)
09h43 : Service area E in Monaco (20')
11h21 : SS 8 TOURETTE DU CHATEAU - SAINT ANTONIN 1 (24,80 km)
12h04 : SS 9 SIGALE - COL DE BLEINE 1 (28,39 km)
13h59 : Grouping area in Monaco (max 15')
14h14 : Service area F in Monaco (20')
15h52 : SS 10 TOURETTE DU CHATEAU - SAINT ANTONIN 2 (24,80 km)
16h35 : SS 11 SIGALE - COL DE BLEINE 2 (28,39 km)
18h30 : Service area G in Monaco (45')
Leg 3 : Sunday 25 January
07h30 : Service area H in Monaco (20')
08h45 : SS 12 SOSPEL - TURINI - LA BOLLENE 1 (32,58 km)
09h38 : SS 13 LANTOSQUE - LUCERAM 1 (19,52 km)
10h50 : Service area I in Monaco (20')
12h05 : SS 14 SOSPEL - TURINI - LA BOLLENE 2 (32,58 km)
12h58 : SS 15 LANTOSQUE - LUCERAM 2 (19,52 km)
14h10 : Service area J in Monaco (20')
14h30 : Event finish
2003: Loeb-Elena††††††††††††††† CitroŽn Xsara
2002: Makinen-Lindstrom††††††† Subaru Impreza
2001: Makinen-Manissenmaki† Mitsubishi Lancer
2000: Makinen-Manissenmaki† Mitsubishi Lancer
1999: Makinen-Manissenmaki† Mitsubishi Lancer
1998: Sainz-Moya†††††††††† Toyota Corolla WRC
1997: Liatti-Pons††††††††† Subaru Impreza WRC
1996: Bernardini-Occelli††††††††† Ford Escort
1995: Sainz-Moya†††††††††††††† Subaru Impreza
1994: Delecour-Grataloup††††††††† Ford Escort
1993: Auriol-Occelli††††††††††† Toyota Celica
1992: Auriol-Occelli††††† Lancia HF Integrale
1991: Sainz-Moya††††††††††††††† Toyota Celica
199O: Auriol-Occelli†††††††† Lancia Delta 16S
1989: Biasion-Siviero† Lancia Delta Integrale
1988: Saby-Fauchille†††††††† Lancia Delta 4WD
1987: Biasion-Siviero††††††† Lancia Delta 4WD
1986: Toivonen-Cresto†††††††† Lancia Delta S4
1985: Vatanen-Harryman†† Peugeot 2O5 Turbo 16
1984: Rohrl-Geistdorfer††††††††† Audi Quattro
1983: Rohrl-Geistdorfer††††††††††† Lancia O37
1982: Rohrl-Geistdorfer†††††††††† Opel Ascona
1981: Ragnotti-Andriť†††††††† Renault 5 Turbo
198O: Rohrl-Geistdorfer†††††† Fiat 131 Abarth
1979: Darniche-Mahť††††††††††† Lancia Stratos
1978: Nicolas-Laverne††††††††† Porsche 911 SC
1977: Munari-Maiga†††††††††††† Lancia Stratos
1976: Munari-Maiga†††††††††††† Lancia Stratos
1975: Munari-Mannucci††††††††† Lancia Stratos
1973: Andruet-Biche††††††††††††† Alpine A 11O
1972: Munari-Mannucci††††††† Lancia Fulvia HF
1971: O.Andersson-Stone††††††††† Alpine A 11O
197O: Waldegard-Helmer††††††††† Porsche 911 S
1969: Waldegard-Helmer††††††††††††††† Porsche
1968: Elford-Stone††††††††††††††††††† Porsche
1967: Aaltonen-Liddon†††††††††††††††††††† BMC
1966: P. Toivonen-Mikander††††††††††† CitroŽn
1965: T. Makinen-Easter†††††††††††††††††† BMC
CAPSIS International [12/01/04 - 16:55]
Rallye Monte Carlo - entry list
The crews taking part in the first event of the year
Around 40 cars will be at the start. Here is the entry list of the 72nd edition of the Rallye Monte Carlo.
Rallye Monte Carlo: entry list
1† SOLBERG Petter - MILLS Philip†††††††††† Subaru Impreza WRC
2† HIRVONEN Mikko - LEHTINEN Jarmo†††††††† Subaru Impreza WRC
3† LOEB Sebastien - ELENA Daniel†††††††††† Citroen Xsara WRC
4† SAINZ Carlos - MARTI Marc†††††††††††††† Citroen Xsara WRC
5† GRONHOLM Marcus - RAUTIAINEN††††††††††† Peugeot 307 WRC
6† LOIX Freddy - SMEETS Sven†††††††††††††† Peugeot 307 WRC
7† MARTIN Markko - PARK Michael††††††††††† Ford Focus WRC
8† DUVAL FranÁois - PREVOT Stephane††††††† Ford Focus WRC
9† PANIZZI Gilles - PANIZZI Herve††††††††† Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04
10 GALLI Gigi - D'AMORE Guido††††††††††††† Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04
11 WARMBOLD Antony - PRICE Gemma†††††††††† Ford Focus WRC02
31 BALDACCI Mirco - BERNACCHINI Giovanni†† Suzuki Ignis
32 AAVA Urmo - SIKK Kuldar†††††††††††††††† Suzuki Ignis
33 WILKS Guy - PUGH Phil†††††††††††††††††† Suzuki Ignis
34 BROCCOLI Alessandro - AGNESE Giovanni†† Fiat Punto
35 KATAJAMAKI Kosti - ALANNE Timo††††††††† Suzuki Ignis
36 MEEKE Kris - PATTERSON Chris††††††††††† Opel Corsa
37 CECCHETTINI Luca - X††††††††††††††††††† Renault Clio
38 FEGHALI Adbo - MATAR Joseph†††††††††††† Ford Puma
39 BERNARDI Nicolas - X††††††††††††††††††† Renault Clio
40 CHICHERIT Guerlain - PERIN Michel†††††† Citroen Saxo
41 BARRATT Natalie - WILLIAMSON Carl†††††† X
42 BIASION Mathieu - COQUARD Philippe††††† Fiat Punto
43 LATVALA Jari-Matti - ANTTILA Miikka†††† Ford Puma
44 SCORCIONI Alan - DADDOVERI Massimo††††† Fiat Punto
45 ANDERSSON Per-Gunnar - ANDERSSON Jonas† Suzuki Ignis
46 PONS Xavier - JULIA Oriol†††††††††††††† Fiat Punto
47 TABATON Luca - ROVEGNO Gisella††††††††† Fiat Punto
48 RAUTENBACH Conrad - MARSH Peter†††††††† Ford PUMA
49 BETTI Luca - X††††††††††††††††††††††††† Peugeot 206 S1600
50 MARSHALL Oliver - PARRY Craig†††††††††† Renault Clio
51 COLS Larry - GODDE Filip††††††††††††††† Renault Clio
61 VOUILLOZ Nicolas - FIORINI David††††††† Peugeot 206 WRC
62 CAMPOS Miguel - R. SILVA††††††††††††††† Peugeot 206 WRC
63 BURRI Olivier - PATTHEY Jean-Philippe†† Subaru Impreza WRC
64 ERRANI Riccardo - CASADIO Stefano†††††† Skoda Octavia WRC
65 BENGUE Alexandre - X††††††††††††††††††† Peugeot 206 WRC
66 BOLAND Eamonn - REGAN Francis†††††††††† Subaru Impreza WRC
67 ROUX Philippe - CORTHAY Paul††††††††††† Ford Focus WRC
68 SZABO Gergely - KOHLER Zoltan†††††††††† Skoda Octavia WRC
69 KRESTA Roman - TOMANEK Jan††††††††††††† Hyundai Accent WRC
70 VALIMAKI Jussi - HONKANEN Jakke†††††††† Hyundai Accent WRC
71 BERES Jozef - STARY Petr††††††††††††††† Hyundai Accent WRC
72 FIDIANI Moreno - BERGONZI M-Grazia††††† Mitsubishi Lancer
73 BIJVELDS Peter - X††††††††††††††††††††† Mitsubishi Lancer
74 ATKINSON Chris - ATKINSON Ben†††††††††† Suzuki Ignis (Forfait)
75 ROSSETTI Luca - D'ESPOSITO Dario††††††† Citroen Saxo VTS
76 BOETTI Michel - X†††††††††††††††††††††† Citroen Saxo VTS
CAPSIS International [07/01/04 - 19:43]auto [xt]
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