The Monte-Carlo Rally will open the 2022 edition of the World Rally Championship (WRC) from its home-base in Monaco, instead of Gap, the rally’s home since 2014.
This was a wish of Automobile Club de Monaco who wanted to mark the 90th edition of the most glamourous rally in the world.
As 95% of the route has been modified, compared to last year, it will be, more than ever, a perfect mix between conservatism and originality, thanks to a set of very demanding special stages selected in the Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
Shakedown will take place on the 2.29km Sainte-Agnès / Peille test with the first car due at 09:31 (8.31 Irish time).
Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, in their new Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid are due at the arrival control of the stage at 9.38 (8.38 Irish time) and will enter the stage at 9:43 (8.43 Irish time)
THURSDAY NIGHT LEG “TURINI NIGHT” 2022.
The official start of the 90th Monte-Carlo Rally is scheduled Thursday January 20 at 06:45pm (5.45pm Irish time)on the still majestic Casino Square.
This first night leg will be made of two very well-known stages adding up to 38.45 kilometers: Lucéram / Lantosque (SS1 – 15.20km – 08:18pm (7:18 Irish time)) and « La Bollène-Vésubie / Moulinet » (SS2 – 23.25km – 09:31pm(8:31pm Irish time)) – this last stage will pass through the legendary Col De Turini.
Always ask locals what the weather is going to do – yeah?
Breen’s teammate and multiple Rallye Monte Carlo winner Sebastien Loeb said:
“So dry… I don’t think. I don’t remember to do Turini full dry with no snow even at the side of
the road. It’s like a Tarmac rally with soft tyres.
Rally2 star and French man Eric Camill added: “There is no snow, it’s nearly dry – but still this is the Monte Carlo Rally and still there is some ice parts. If you take the slick and find the black ice, it will be very, very slippery – you have to be careful, but still it’s like a sprint.”
It is a historic week for Irish motorsport as a record three Motorsport Ireland licence holders are preparing to tackle the full FIA World Rally Championship. For the first time ever two Motorsport Ireland licence holders will share a car for the entire duration of the Championship.
Waterford’s Craig Breen and his Kerry co-driver Paul Nagle, will this week, compete on the Monte Carlo Rally for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team. The iconic Monte Carlo Rally is the opening round of the 2022 World Rally Championship and marks the first event for the Irish team as part of a two-year deal with Ford.
A third Irish competitor, Aaron Johnston, will also contest the full championship as co-driver to Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta and as part of the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team. It will be the Tyrone man’s first full season in the sport’s top-flight.
Both Ford competitors have enjoyed considerable success at world-level. Nagle has won five rounds of the World Rally Championship alongside Kris Meeke – Formula One ace Eddie Irvine took four Grand Prix wins during the 1999 season with Ferrari – making the Killarney man the most successful Motorsport Ireland licence holder ever in terms of FIA-endorsed world championship events. The Breen/Nagle partnership stretches across 2019 to 2021 when they drove, on a part-time basis, for Hyundai.
Johnston’s deal is equally important, and his Toyota contract means there are two Motorsport Ireland international co-drivers competing in the top-flight this season.
Speaking at Saturday’s WRC launch event, in Austria, where his new Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 was revealed for the first time, Breen said; “It’s getting very, very, real now. I think the public and fans don’t realize just quite how much effort and energy is going to all of these cars. The technology is amazing really, we are very, very lucky to be taking part in this amazing championship this year.”
Rallye Monte Carlo gets underway at 17:45 Irish time on Thursday with a ceremonial start in downtown Monte Carlo. There are two stages late on Thursday night, including a run over the legendary Col de Turini at 20:30 Irish time with the event finishing early on Sunday afternoon.
There are two other Irish competitors are on the entry list. Former Irish Tarmac Rally champion, Eamonn Boland and his co-driver MJ Morrisey will drive a privately entered Ford Fiesta Rally2 car on the four-day event. It is their first rally since the 2020 Monte Carlo Rally where they finished 26th.
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