The Rallye Montecarlo Historique is a one-of-a-kind race, let’s see why and how to prepare for it.
It all starts in August, when registration opens and the “pre-regulation” comes out in which the indications and registration methods are provided, i.e. the programme, the cities of departure, the cars that could be admitted, the necessary documents of the car and crews, the tools that can be used and some regulatory indications on the conduct of the race (e.g. respect for speed limits, respect for the environment, etc.) as well as an indication of the registration cost which this year is €5,200.00 which includes, in addition to registration with the assignment of race numbers and gadgets, the welcome buffet in Monte Carlo on the first evening with 3 nights’ accommodation and the gala dinner which takes place inside the Sporting Club From here the real preparation begins, mainly of the car which must be able to face 7 days of racing with approximately 3,000 km on asphalt roads but with very different environments. Here, the choice of tires necessary to tackle various surfaces including snow, ice and the dreaded verglas (sudden and barely visible sheets of ice) is also very important. So in addition to the thermal tires (mandatory in the winter period also in France for normal road circulation) it is good to think about also having a set of studded tires to deal with any slippery surfaces, to be changed before tackling the special stage based on the indications provided by the scouts.
In this period it is also a good idea to start thinking about the logistics for overnight stays not included in the registration fee: the race in fact includes 3 stage finishes in the city of Valance.
The wait ends in mid-November, when the registration acceptance confirmations begin to arrive and you must choose (at whatever time you did not do so during the registration phase) the team you belong to. But what does a team do for its crews? Each team has its own RMCH management policy: managing official communications, managing logistics (hotel reservations, shuttle for transporting luggage and crews from the final CO to the hotel, etc.), providing scouts who they will cover the special stages before the crews and will give indications on the road conditions so that each crew can choose the best set-up to face it; provide service crews with mechanics ready for checks, car tune-ups, tire changes and necessary repairs; furthermore, it could provide the clothing necessary to face the race and last but not least, form the purchasing group for the roadbook. In fact, ACM does not provide a roadbook, but simply a list of roads and km:
Here some professionals come into play who are responsible for translating this list into a real roadbook with even more detailed vignettes and intermediate distances, to help the crews in the race.
At this point the crews are ready to also face the reconnaissance: that is, going to see and possibly “measure” the special tests. In fact, in the first days of the year, many crews travel the Rally roads to take references to use during the race, to “recalibrate” the instrument. A fundamental measurement is “Etalonnage” i.e. that stretch of road which, traveling along the roadside at a low speed, will give the reference measurement to calibrate the instrument and to measure the tests (it is easier to do this than to describe it…)
Lastly, it is essential to foresee alternative routes when the crew has assistance following them: in fact, the assistance vans cannot, for any reason, enter the special tests, under penalty of exclusion from the race of the reference crew.
I have described to you in broad terms how to prepare to face one of the most iconic races, which boasts a history of over 90 years, with the historical version now in its 26th edition.
See you soon with more background, details and interviews with those who race, those who assist and those who, behind the scenes, in silence and without appearing, ensure that the crews face the race in peace.
Cristina Biagi x Promotor Classic MAGAZINE