Organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco, this event is officially known as the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo. It takes place against the spectacular backdrop of the French Riviera, and has a history dating back to 1911. It is now the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, an international series launched in 2008.
From its earliest beginnings, the rally has always been seen as a test of the road-worthiness of new cars. Success in the rally carries great kudos, and garners very positive publicity. This challenging winter course embraces a range of road conditions, including dry and wet tarmac, ice and snow.
One of the most notorious stages of the rally is from La Bollene to Sospel (or vice versa), a route with takes the drivers over the Col de Turini, a hair-raising mountain drive which consists of a dizzying series of tight hairpin turns, often covered in ice and snow.
Unsurprisingly the event is a huge challenge to the organisers, requiring 1,000 policemen, 23 emergency doctors, 300 firemen, 142 marshals, and 350 safety marshals to ensure the safety of both the competitors and the public.