Inspired by the WRC season-opener in Monaco? Here we reflect on some of the rally’s most iconic editions, with evocative photography from LAT Images
As the traditional opening round of the World Rally Championship, the Monte Carlo Rally is the first place to see entire new generations of cars and regulations take to the stages.
Contenders in the WRC – which this season was launched at Autosport International – look incredible against the backdrop of Casino Square, while iconic sections such as the Col de Turini make the ‘Monte’ the most prestigious rally on the calendar.
For decades, LAT Images has been capturing some of the most memorable instalments from the hillsides.
January 11-24, 1964. Paddy Hopkirk/Henry Liddon at speed along the harbour front. The two go on to take a famous victory in their Mini Cooper S. Two years later, they’d be disqualified from a second win owing to illegal headlights.
January 19-26, 1973. Jean-Claude Andruet takes the Alpine-Renault A110 to victory in the first-ever round of the WRC. A110s claim a one-two-three finish.
January 22-29, 1983. Walter Rohrl and Christian Geistdörfer on the way to victory in a Lancia 037 – the last rear-wheel-drive car to win the WRC – by seven minutes, beating the Audi Quattros.
January 26-February 1, 1985. Ari Vatanen and co-driver Terry Harryman score their only top-three finish at the event, winning in the Peugeot 205 T16.
January 18-24, 1986. Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto’s Lancia Delta S4 wins the longest-ever Monte Carlo Rally – it covers 867km across 36 stages.
January 22-26, 1995. Carlos Sainz and co-driver Luis Moya in their Subaru Impreza, which carries the 555 livery.
January 18-21, 2001. Tommi Mäkinen pilots the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI to take his third out of four consecutive Monte victories.
January 22-25, 2004. Sébastien Loeb celebrates victory in his second Monte rally. He would go on to win the event a further six times.
January 18-22, 2017. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia’s season-opening victory in their Ford Fiesta ushers in a new era for the WRC – the fastest to date.
Images courtesy of LAT Archive