Belgian team of Michel Decremer and Yannick Albert on Opel Ascona 2000 won this 20th edition of the Rally Monte-Carlo Historique that ended yesterday February 1st. They were leading the Rally before the two last Regulation Sections. Second and third places were taken by Italian crews: Gianmaria Aghem and Diego Cumino on Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1200 and Gian Mario Fontanella and Stefano Scrivani on Fiat 128 Rally.
This famous rally starts in several European cities and ends in Monte Carlo. Rally is a sport for all ages. The oldest co-pilot in the Monte Carlo Historic rally 2017 is … 89! The youngest is probably Youtuber Sébastien Delanney, 19, and co-pilot in the Renault Giordini with Jean Ragnotti.
Rally is a team effort. For example, team of Stoffel Mulier and Chris Gorisdue to changing weather conditions opted for a tire change three times in one day what wouldn’t be possible except for the help of their support team Jonas Van der Wee and Jules Gulickx.
Decremer and Albert received support from Patrick Snijers and Roel Geraerts as ice-spies or “ouvreurs”. Michel Decremer came fourth last year and started this edition with a healthy ambition, also because of the additional support of Snijers and Geraerts.
After the sixth stage, Decremer and Albert took the lead. Michel used snow tires in that stage, advised by Patrick, instead of nails like the other competitors.
The team kept the lead till the last two stages. In the 13th stage, they lost some time due to engine trouble. It stalled twice. But the stage was completed successfully, and the last stage saw them taking the first place.
“This edition was more challenging than the last one. Lots of ice and slippery spots on the roads. Less snow, but tough nonetheless. This kind of regularity rally can only be won if every piece of the puzzle falls into place”, Michel Decremer shared. – “The preparation, the understanding between driver and co-driver, and the support from mechanics and “ouvreurs’. We didn’t really make any mistakes, and were able to deliver a consistent performance. In the last stage we only got 40 penalty points, allowing us to make up for the time lost in stage 13, and keeping our closed rivals at bay.”
Support of mechanics and ‘ouvreurs’
Patrick Snijers and Roel Geraerts of Car Cave have scouted the roads and conditions during this 20th edition of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.
They led the way for 4 Belgian teams, sponsored by Car Cave. Patrick, 7-time Belgian champion and European rally champion, was of course very well suited to pass on information to the teams. And he has experience as a driver in Monte Carlo himself.
He and Roel Geraerts drove a Volvo S60 Polestar supplied by Volvo Belgium.