Longer route for Monte Carlo Rally in 2012 as it returns to World Rally Championship

Monte Carlo Rally organisers have announced the longest route in the event's recent history for its return to the World Rally Championship next season

Longer route for Monte Carlo Rally in 2012 as it returns to World Rally Championship

The January event will include 270 competitive miles, 60 more than this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge qualifier and the most the Automobile Club de Monaco has planned since 1995.

The outline route itself will remain similar to the format from previous years, starting from Valence and finishing in Monaco. As expected, there will be a powerstage on the Sunday morning, meaning the event won't end at midnight in the mountains as it has for the last three years.

Shakedown for the event will be held on Tuesday January 17, followed by an opening loop of stages (Le Moulinon-Antraigues and Burzet-St Martial run twice) in the southern Ardeche the next day.

Day two, Thursday January 19, remains rooted in Valence, with the crews contesting three stages: Labatie d'Andaure-Lalouvesc; St Bonnet le Froid-St Julien Molhesabate-St Bonnet le Froid and Lamastre-Gilhoc-Alboussiere twice.

Two stages run on Friday morning, St Jean en Royans-Font d'Urle and Cimetiere de Vassieux-Col de Gaudissart before the teams move south to Monaco on Friday afternoon, taking in the Montauban sur Ouveze-Eygalayes stage in the Drome region on the way.

After an evening arrival in the Principality, the crews have Saturday morning off before heading off for two loops of Moulinet-Col du Turini-La Bollene-Vesubie and Lantosque-Luceram.

Sunday morning's three-mile live television powerstage runs at 10am from Sainte Agnes to Col de la Madone.

In total, the event comprises 17 stages and 1043 miles in total. This will be the first time the Monte Carlo Rally has been included in the WRC since 2008.

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