The Saab 99 of Team Wagenheimer is on its way from Munich to Frankfurt. The technical inspection takes place there today before the rally will start on Wednesday in southern France. The track has it all, and the event is not a show for fair weather riders.
The first two stages on day 1 lead the participants of the Histo Monte 2017 from Frankfurt via Michelstadt, Sinsheim, Geroldsau and Haslach to Freiburg im Breisgau. This is a harmless start, but from the following day and the next two stages it will be more demanding.
The rally leaves Germany near Basel, changes for a short distance to Switzerland and then to France. With the Col de Landoz-Neuve (1,260 meters) the first pass of the Jura has to be conquered in the border area, later the Col de Menthières (1.130 meters) awaits the participants. The stage destination is Aix-Les-Bains.
1.730 kilometers in 4 days. With ice and snow.
From there, the 4th stage in the direction of Grenoble begins, and before Briancon, the Col de Lautaret (2.058 meters) is the first “real” pass for the rally participants. Snow and ice should be guaranteed. Today's destination is Crots, north of Sisteron.
Cannes and the Mediterranean are then almost within reach and also the destination of the next stage. Through a fantastically wild landscape and over narrow, exciting roads, you will reach the Col des Sagnes at 1.182 meters altitude. On the way to Cannes, the rally crew will have little time for the view of the Grand Canyon du Verdon, a tourist magnet especially in the travel season.
The glamorous Cannes is just the stopover on this day. The last day's stage leads to the legendary Col de Turini at an altitude of 1.607 meters. The pass is an integral part of the Monte Carlo Rally and is woven into motorsport history as the “Night of Long Knives”. All the great legends have been up here at least once, and Erik Carlsson let his Saab fly here in 1962 and '63. This year Walter Röhrl will be there; I don't know how many times it has been on that pass.
The last day of the event and the last stage lead from the Col de Turini to Monte Carlo. The 25th Histo Monte ends at the port. The participants then had 4 tough days, an exciting 1.730 kilometers and passes that brought them up to 2.058 meters above sea level.
Much challenge and adventure for man and machine, and we keep our fingers crossed for the team of Robert and Gerd Wagenheimer!