The 2024 World Rally Championship has kicked off in the mountains over Monte Carlo. It's the Monte. We're back.
It's easy to see the Monte as a shadow of its former self. No longer are teams setting off from their respective countries and racing their way thousands of miles to the shores of the Mediterranean. There is no Saab team driving to Monte Carlo from Sweden, or whatnot.
But there is still an indelible quality to the Monte, a tarmac rally that is sometimes a snow rally and sometimes an ice race and always something in the middle. It's not just the start of the WRC calendar, it's an awakening of the fever of rally, and even the most serious drivers end up showing a little flair. Look at Sebastien Ogier (pictured above as well) here in this clip from Friday, Day 2 of the rally. He is, as one might say, getting after it, lads. High speed over tarmac and sideways into the braking zone into sideways through a hairpin and straight as a shot flying out of it.
But it was the rally opener, night up into the mountains, endless switchbacks lined with spectators close enough to make a Group B compilation video blush, that has a taste of rally immutable. Rally indelible. Rally immortal.
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT (@TGR_WRC) January 25, 2024
It's the good stuff. As of publication, young Elfyn Evans holds his lead over veteran ace Ogier by a hair, both in Toyotas. Here is hoping for a safe rally for everyone.
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