Turin to Monaco the long way around
Having spent 3 hours 30 driving from Monaco to Turin on Thursday, to spend nearly 24 hours driving back would appear quite careless.
After another of the worlds cheapest pizzas the EFG crew set off from Turin’s equivalent of fifth avenue at 8 o'clock last night. First objective: the 2,000 metre high ski resort at Sestrieres.
Unsurprisingly as we climbed the hill we started driving on snow which was to last for some 200 kilometres. But the little Lancia was running very well and felt very good on its snow tyres so we were able to make great time to the first and only halt in the night at Embrun.
I managed to grab an hour’s sleep while Frozone sat and watched the traffic in chaotic scenes on the main high street as 120 rally cars jostled for the restart.
We were soon into France and astonished by the three hours of traffic we saw heading in the direction ski station. The reflected headlights meaning it was very tough on what were already very tired eyes.
Passing in a basic figure of eight through Southern France we were to get almost to Valence before heading back down towards Monaco.
The 10 hour leg took us to St Andre les Alpes, the grouping point for all runners from all the various starts.
Another hour’s sleep, then the final 4 hour run into Monaco including the first regularity stage brought home the dangers of the rally very clearly when we had to weave around the wreckage of one of the earlier Turin starters where perhaps the driver had fallen asleep or perhaps been blinded by the sun but either way had destroyed his Porsche. Reports suggest the crew of the 175 are ok but our thoughts are with them tonight.
The first stage was short and very twisty and we totalled 5 seconds error which wasn't great but is very small on a scale of expected errors this week so basically irrelevant.
Most importantly the crew and car arrived in monaco mid afternoon in one piece and in good spirits ready for next 4 days of rallying. Although in dire need of some sleep.
Your "vibrating all over still 4 hours later" correspondent.