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GP Week : Issue 124
Provisional details of the route for the 2012 Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo show a retro feel, with competition spread over five instead of the usual three days, two locations for the central ser vice park and nighttime stages over the traditional Turini loop. Marking the return to the world championship after three years’ absence, there will be a short final daylight Power Stage over the lower level hills north of the Principality, in an area not used on the rally for many years. Once again the emphasis on the rally will be the two days spent on stages in the Ardeche region with Valence the epicentre of events. Then the rally moves through the Drome region down towards Monaco. Encouraged by the FIA, the format of the event breaks further away from established WRC formats by ending with a new Sunday morning time for the Power Stage. Next weekend’s non-championship Rally Estonia will provide a rare chance to determine the relative performance of the new World Rally Cars compared with cars of the previous WRC formula. Mads Ostberg will drive Fiesta WRC and Kris Meeke a Mini John Cooper Works WRC, facing competition from Markko Martin in an old formula Focus WRC. Furthermore Jari Ketomaa drives a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X as a chance to evaluate the performance of the new R4 cars against the Old Generation Super 2000 cars, headed by Martin Prokop, which are internationally grouped together class-wise. The event which is based at Martin’s home town of Tartu, has also attracted many competitors in the forthcoming WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland as an authorised chance to set-up their championship cars. WRC news >> New versus Old in Estonia Retro route for 2012 Monte Carlo 43