Now any of these bold methods would lead to disqualifications, but in the old days when motor racing was not so strictly regulated, the participants of the WRC came up with a variety ways to cope with changeable conditions, Rallye Monte-Carlo. recalls the most interesting of these solutions…
One of the main problems for crews on the Rally Monte Carlo is an incredibly difficult choice of tires, which at separate stages it is impossible to predict. Dry asphalt surface often gives way to ice and then dry sidewalk. Add to that the rain and get real roulette.
But in 1983 the factory team Lancia decided not to rely on fortune and went on the road, more familiar to Formula 1 races, but not for the rally. After four kilometers of the second stage, when over the mountain the icy slope and started the asphalt, all three crew factory team Lancia stopped in the place where they waited for the mechanics and replaced the studded tires on the staging!
An impromptu pit-stop took about a minute and at first glance, the special dividend did not bring Mark Allen became the fifth, Walter Röhrl – seventh, and Jean-Claude Andrue and is the tenth. But it wasn’t even trying to win back time, and that rear-wheel drive Lancia 037 Rally was not able to compete with the Audi Quattro on ice.
“We’ve been thinking about this and eventually decided. Without studded tires, we just didn’t come up to the mountain, said Röhrl. It was horrible to stand on stage for a minute and do nothing. Although the atmosphere was great – around were the spectators, the journalists, just like in the pit lane!»
On the finish of the Rally Monte-Carlo-1983 Röhrl and Allen brought Lancia victory double. But the secret of their success consisted not only in piloting and daring the tactics of pit stops…
Another trick Lancia or, rather, a way to compensate for the lack 037 rear-wheel drive car on ice was the salt… a team Manager Cesare FIORIO ordered delivery of 300 tons from Italy. Salt was scattered on the most treacherous special stages, which allowed the crews from Turin to use slicks. Most interesting is that the competitors Lancia, including Audi, did not know about this trick, and remained on the studded tires. Not surprisingly, the winning margin over Walter Röhrl became the third Stig Blomqvist made up more than 11 minutes, and Mark Allen brought to the Swede five minutes.
Departure on a slippery and treacherous road Rally Monte Carlo in most cases ends sadly and leads to the gathering, especially the legendary Col de Turini. There are rare exceptions, and the most important of them – the victory Rauno Aaltonen in 1967. For many years Finnish driver and his co-driver Hans Sylvan kept it a secret, and only last year the champion of Europe and Finland at the rally said that won the famous competition, cut the track.
“That’s right,’ says Aaltonen. – Before the final part of the race I was leading with advantage in 30 seconds. The weather conditions were terrible. Because of the strong snowstorm visibility was at zero. Before entering the hairpin at the summit in Col de Turini I switched to third gear and slammed on the brakes. But at that moment the car skidded on the ice and at high speed going straight towards the rocks.
I had a choice: either crash into one of the rocks, or try to drive between them. I chose the latter… Remember when we flew between snow-covered trees, boulders, and then suddenly appeared on the road. Making sure that we have everything in order, we continued to move, but soon realized that we were going the opposite direction. To turn around, they had to use the handbrake. In the end, we finished first with a lead of seven seconds.”
If we are really to move away in the story and talk about the most extreme solutions, it is necessary to recall the experiment of British racer Simons car Wolseley in 1936. Even if he was 26th among 72 finishers from the participants, but we won the prize for most comfortable car.
Wolseley with a comfortable four-door saloon, finished in light and dark grey tones, was recognized as the best among the cars with an enclosed cockpit in that race. But the main feature is the wooden skids that are on the snowy roads was attached to the front wheels by chains and clamps! On clean asphalt sections of such a strange device was removed at the bottom near thresholds.
In 2018 a fifth consecutive victory in Monte Carlo was won by Sebastien Ogier. Its advantage over the Ott Tanaka at the finish was less than a minute. This definitely would be enough for a few pit stops… Maybe the promoters of the world rally championship to think about this, at least for the sake of the audience.
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