Why the Monte Carlo rally is special

It might now be the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), but watching the 200+bhp rally cars take on the twisty Col de Turini stage is magical. Surely, the Monte Carlo rally can lay claim to being the most iconic event when it celebrates its centenary later this January?

The event was first run in 1911, when HSH Prince Albert I decided the Principality should be part of the rapidly growing automotive scene and steal tourism from neighbouring coastal resorts of Nice and St Tropez. Originally devised by Gabriel Vialon of what would become the Automobile Club de Monaco, the idea was that competitors would converge on Monte Carlo from distant towns and cities.