D-100 days to start of Rallye Monte-Carlo centenary

     – Free entry fees for 100 participants
    – Michelin to offer 100 tyres
    – Full TV coverage, including 12 stages LIVE
    – A legendary route
    – New IRC regulations for the 2WD category

The centenary edition of the world-famous Rallye Monte-Carlo will get underway in 100 days from now when it opens the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge season, from 19-22 January.
A special presentation of the Centenary Rally was made last week in Paris in the presence of Michel Boeri, President of the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), Laurent-Eric Le Lay, President of Eurosport Group, René Isoart, ACM General Commissioner, and Géraldine Filiol, Managing Director of Eurosport Events, the promoter of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. On this occasion, a number of exciting key decisions were announced to celebrate the rally’s 100th anniversary.
100 Competitors
The Automobile Club de Monaco has confirmed that entry fees for this historic 2011 edition will be free of charge for all of the 100 competitors that are accepted for the opening round of next season’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge. As part of the celebrations for the event’s centenary, this exceptional incentive aims to encourage amateur drivers, who are long-term supporters of the event, to enter.
As a means of providing additional assistance to amateur drivers, tyre company Michelin will provide 100 free competition tyres to the 25 highest-placed amateur competitors at the end of the event.
Full TV broadcast including live coverage of 12 stages
Once again, Eurosport Events will provide large-scale TV production for live coverage of the event, using a mixture of aerial shots, on-board footage and ground-based cameras. The Monte Carlo centenary edition will benefit from a full TV production with a total of 14 hours of television over the three days of the competition, including live coverage of 12 stages combined with regular highlights each evening.
The unique media coverage throughout the world will include extensive live broadcasts on Eurosport’s network that will reach over 121 million homes across 59 countries in Europe, complemented by comprehensive coverage on Eurosport 2, Eurosport Asia-Pacific, Eurosportnews and the eurosport.com websites.
On top of the extensive live transmissions on Eurosport, 30 broadcasters from around the world have already committed to cover the event. Ongoing discussions with other television channels will continue at Sportel, the biggest international meeting of sport and television organised in Monaco from 11 to 14 October.
The groundbreaking coverage of the 2010 rally in January received widespread praise and attracted a cumulative reach of 12 million* different viewers on Eurosport.
The route of the Centenary rally
The route has been drawn up based entirely on historical roads and it will include famous locations of the Rallye Monte-Carlo selected from its very earliest days. Starting in Valence on Wednesday 19 January, the event covers 13 classic Tarmac stages in the Ardèche, Haute Loire, Drôme and Alpes Maritimes regions of France over a competitive distance of 337 kilometres, prior to the finish in Monaco’s glamorous harbour in the early hours of Saturday 22 January.
Revised regulations for the IRC 2WD Cup
In another new development from next year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo onwards, the eligibility for the IRC 2WD Cup has been revised. Drivers running in any two-wheel drive rally car built to Group A, Group N and Group R regulations – even if they are at the wheel of cars not built by a registered IRC manufacturer – will be able to score driver points on all rounds of the series and be eligible for the IRC 2WD Cup drivers‘ title. Only those car makes registered as an IRC manufacturer will be permitted to score manufacturers‘ points.
The decision is expected to pave the way for increased competition by encouraging more drivers to contest this exciting addition to the IRC, while also acknowledging the increasing number of manufacturers building cars for the emerging Group R category.
Michel Boeri, President of the Automobile Club de Monaco, said: "Amateurs are the bedrock on which the Monte Carlo rally event and its history have been built. We have unveiled a range of initiatives to encourage them to participate in this historic edition, and to give them the chance to compete against professional and established drivers. Our aim is to combine tradition and modernity, and to bring together the drivers, the fans, the organisers as well as the regions in a popular and friendly festive atmosphere. This is the spirit that we would like to express for the rally centenary. Finally, the thrilling live broadcasts provided by our partner Eurosport Events, will give TV viewers an extra dimension, bringing to life the ambience of this rally".
"It is a great honour to start the fifth season of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge with such a famous and prestigious event as the Monte-Carlo rally, particularly during its centenary year," said Laurent-Eric Le Lay, President of Eurosport Group. "Producing 12 stages live, including the Turini stages run at night, remains a big technical and logistical challenge, but this event is synonymous with the sport of rallying and our ambitious TV production plans are worthy of an epic motorsport event like this one. Viewers will be able to experience this legendary event live and feel the drama of the Monte Carlo Rally directly as it happens!" Le Lay concluded.
(*) source: Eurometrix – AGF/GFK, SKO, BARB, TNS Global, MMS, AGB Nielsen Media Research, TNS Gallup, ARMA/GFK Romania

Laurent-Eric Le Lay (left) and Michel Boeri (right) launched the 2010 Rallye Monte-Carlo


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