"Is this day two or day three?"
A colleague asked a question that kind of summed up last week's Monte Carlo Rally. I love the Monte, but it did go on a bit.
I've been a strong advocate of longer-distance rallies in a nostalgic-but-probably-slightly-naïve way. Not so sure now. After a 2011 season of nano-second finishes and rallies decided by two tenths here and there, last week's WRC opener became a bit of a procession. In fact, it became a terrible procession.
It was no co-incidence that, as the total competitive time ventured well north of four hours, the gaps between the finishers mushroomed as the Monaco finish beckoned. It's simply unrealistic to maintain the kind of thriller edge we saw regularly on rallies last season if they're going to go on for this long. Sebastien Loeb won this five-day Monte by more than two minutes; Sebastien Ogier won a two-day Jordan Rally by two tenths of a second.