The greatest four-wheel motorsport returned to the runway on the quiet notes of clean vehicles but without lacking adrenaline. The fifth edition of the Monte-Carlo E-Rally and the 21st edition of the Monte-Carlo Zen Rally, organized by Monaco Automobile Club (ACM) and recognized by the International Automobile Association – FIA, ran from the 20th to the 24th October 2021 from Châteauneuf in the Loire region (autonomous in green energy) to the heart of the Principality. After last year’s forced break, more than fifty teams from eight different nationalities on board electric cars and one hydrogen, by twelve major brands, raced for 350 km within a stage race and fifteen special regularity tests, covering 1000 km and more of track route in several days.
A parade of different sized zero-emission vehicle from Fiat 500 to Porsche Taycan and Mercedes EQA made a good show on the road. Among the participants, ‘Daghe Munegu’ (Come on, Monaco!), held high the flag of Monaco under the guidance of Jacques Pastor, municipal secretary general, and Serge Pastor, employee at Monaco City Hall. A way to reaffirm the engagement of the Municipality towards a fully ‘green mobility’.
“It was a great challenge on board electric and hydrogen cars which have reached a high level of performance”, highlighted Jacques Pastor (J.P.) at the finish line – “I am proud to attend the E-Rally aboard this vehicle made available by Monaco’s institutions to meet the very spirit of this race: surely there is competition but at the same time fellowship and willingness to cooperate”.
HelloMonaco: How was this electric & green experience?
J.P.: It was a tough test since we had to calculate accurately race times including electric charging and the duration of each recharge. At last, all vehicles reached Monaco in good time which means that is feasible to run without impact for the environment. That means also that we can use the same eco-friendly car both as city car and race car with a few additional devices functional to the sport test. We are then pleased to convey this sustainable message as well, reinforcing the strong commitment of the Sovereign Prince and the Mayor of Monaco.
HelloMonaco: What did you like most of this experience?
J.P.: We covered technical routes and more rolling tracks in total safety, always respecting the rules of the road code. It was, in fact, a race of regularity. Moreover, I fully appreciated the way of driving an electric car which inspires a graceful calm and a gentle behavior of the driver. I would define it as a ‘Zenitude’ (Attitude to Full-Zen spirit).
After crossing seventeen French departments from North to South, all cars, not specifically conceived for competing, arrived in Monaco on Friday evening to get ready for the last challenge on Saturday the 23rd October. An exciting finale between the Var Valley and the Maritime Alps for a whole event focused on mobility without CO2 emissions. One of the Monte-Carlo E-Rally mission is, in fact, to promote new sustainable technologies on clean mobility and encourage an environmentally responsible way of driving.
The race could count on a widespread distribution of charging stations all the way and in Monaco. Moreover, an innovative hydrogen refueling mobile unit powered by renewable energy sources was designed just for the E-Rally by the will of Bernard Laget, Mayor at Châteauneuf (Loire Region), starting line of the race. “It was crucial to pay tribute to this iconic location fully energized by wind turbines and solar panels and his first citizen, former professor and director at Saint-Étienne National School of Engineers”, highlighted Christian Tornatore, Commissioner General at ACM.
Variable windy and humid weather conditions marked the first part of the race, from Châteauneuf to Valence (Stage 1, Wednesday the 20th) through the Ardèche region. An autumn but sunny environment welcomed all teams continuing towards Valence (Stages 2 & 3, Thursday the 21st) through Vercors mountain region. Friday’s route (Stage 4) was memorable for the long and challenging journey from Valence to Monaco via the Maure massif and the Maritime Alps in the Var region. The final step (Stage 5) on Saturday developed among evocative landscapes to give strong emotions to all teams which gathered even earlier than fixed time at Quai Rainier III (new dam) after 5 p.m.
Frédéric Lansiaux and Nicolas Buhot (France), at the wheel of a Volkswagen ID 4, were proclaimed victorious within the final ceremony held on Sunday morning, the 24th October, at the Automobile Club de Monaco. Positioned first from the early stages, they have shown correct and constant driving until the end. For the winning drivers, it was a great experience competing within the Holy Grail of Motor Sport: the Monte-Carlo Rally.
Monte-Carlo E-Rally has given new impulse to motorsport gear with zero emission in one of the most successful editions ever, both for organizers and participants.
E-Rallye Monte-Carlo 2021, Podium
1. Frédéric Lansiaux & Nicolas Buhot (Team No. 14, France), Volkswagen ID 4 – Results: 1330
2. Frédéric Ozon & Gérald Seiler (Team No.1, France), Tesla Model 3 – Results: 1390
3. Michel Chabran & Eric Mallen (Team No.26, France), Renault Zoe – Results: 1410
For further information and results please visit the ACM official website: https://acm.mc/en/