French rally driver Pierre Ragues will return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Rallye Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2021 season, which takes place next weekend. The event will mark Pierre’s second consecutive round of the WRC, having made an impressive debut at a weather-affected Rally Monza in early December.
Alongside co-driver Julien Pesenti, Pierre took victory in the RGT class in the Alpine 110 Rally, which was also making its competitive WRC debut. In treacherous wintry conditions, Pierre kept his cool to take an emphatic class win.
Snowy and icy conditions are a trademark of the mountainous stages faced at Rallye Monte-Carlo, one of the most iconic rallies of the season and a jewel in the WRC crown. Pierre will once again have to acclimatise to a new challenge as he re-joins Racing Services with support from YACCO, First, Sparco in the Michelin-equipped Alpine car. Pierre is also supported by Alpine MSA Deauville, while being a proud ambassador for Michelin.
A revised schedule has been developed to ensure the event can run under local COVID-19 restrictions and with no spectators permitted due to the ongoing pandemic. Monte is usually one of the toughest and most unpredictable events of the season with the winter weather placing a premium on tyre choice and strategy.
The event begins in earnest on Thursday with two stages in the mid-afternoon. A number of changes have been made to the itinerary in light of restrictions with 14 stages making up the event over 257km. 84 cars have entered with seven in the RGT category, offering Pierre stern competition as he attempts to conquer the legend of Monte for the first time.
Pierre said: “It’s wonderful to begin a new season of motorsport knowing that I’ll be participating in the prestigious Rallye Monte-Carlo for the first time. I am overjoyed to have this opportunity, not only for myself and Julien, but also for Alpine. The A110 Rally and Michelin tyres performed so strongly in Monza, despite the complicated conditions, so I am hoping we will be able to put in another good performance. We are fortunate to have the chance to compete, knowing the ongoing restrictions with the pandemic, so we’ll do all we can to dig deep and rise to this new challenge. It will be a brand-new but unknown adventure for me, one I can’t wait to begin. I am grateful for the support of Racing Services, YACCO, First, Sparco, Alpine MSA Deauville and Michelin, as we relish the chance to be part of the 2021 WRC season-opener.”
Rallye Monte-Carlo Itinerary
Thursday 21 January
SS1 14:08 Saint-Disdier-Corps 20.58km
SS2 15:06 Saint-Maurice-Saint-Bonnet 20.78km
Friday 22 January
SS3 06:10 Aspremont-La Bâtie-des-Fonts 19.61km
SS4 07:28 Chalancon-Gumiane 21.62km
SS5 09:01 Montauban-sur-l’Ouvèze – Villebois-les-Pins 22.24km
SS6 12:17 Aspremont-La Bâtie-des-Fonts 19.61km
SS7 13:38 Chalancon-Gumiane 21.62km
Saturday 23 January
SS8 06:30 La Bréole-Selonnet 18.31km
SS9 08:18 Saint-Clément-Freissinières 20.48km
SS10 12:08 La Bréole-Selonnet 18.31km
Sunday 24 January
SS11 08:30 Puget-Théniers – La Penne 12.93km
SS12 10:08 Brianconnet-Entrevaux 14.31km
SS13 10:45 Puget-Théniers – La Penne 12.93km
SS14 12:18 Brianconnet-Entrevaux 14.31km
For more information, please visit www.pierreragues.com or www.quadrasports.com. Follow on Twitter @PierreRagues and @quadrasport or on Facebook.