Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Monte Carlo Historique Rally 2007: Progress Report 4
The rally is now over and the results confirmed. I watched the ACM site avidly as the cars raced off to tackle the dreaded night loop on the mountains behind Monte Carlo. Many a competitor's hopes have been dashed on the infamous Col de Turini (memories of hitting That Wall in 2005 still make me shudder). There were three regularity stages. On the first two nothing much happened and with both the Barker/Cave and O'nion/Wilkinson Mini Coopers moving up through the field. And then on the final stage from Lantosque to the Col de Braus, chaos! Peter Barker and Willy Cave 13 places to finish 22nd overall but somehow lost the class position to a Renault 8 Gordini that had been running about 10 places behind. They were however, the first Mini over the line. A fitting performance on this the 40th anniversary of the last Mini victory in the original event. Geoff O'nion and David Wilkinson were less lucky. They had a torrid time on the last stage and they dropped 30 places to 99th overall but still finished 4th in class behind a Saab 96. I'm not sure what happened but weather is almost certainly to blame. The mountain roads behind Monaco are very, very tricky and when snow, ice and freezing fog are thrown into the equation anything can happen. The overall winners were the formidable Belgian team of Alain Lopes and Joseph Lambert. I've excerpeted the top 10 results from the Automobile Club de Monaco's site (sorry about the size but you can just about read them).
Oh, and for completeness I've posted the final episode of the 2004 event for your viewing pleasure.