Organizers of the Monte Carlo Rally are under pressure to implement significant changes to the route for next year's event, including a wholesale move back to Monaco.
Last week's World Rally Championship opener spent four of its six days (including shakedown) in Valence before a long road section down to the principality for the final two days.
Valence has been an unpopular base for the event since 2007, but it has remained because the more northerly stages in the Ardeche region are reckoned to offer a greater chance of snow. There was no snow on last week's event, but the 2011 event was hit by an event-changing snowfall.
Mini's David Richards said: "This is the Monte Carlo Rally and it's called Monte Carlo for a reason – it's about Monte Carlo. I spoke to [WRC manager] Michele [Mouton], an advocate of longer events, and even she's accepted a Monaco base with a remote service in Digne or Gap or something like that would be the way to go in the future."
The longer route – increased from four to five competitive days for this year – was not to everybody's taste either. The winner of six of the last seven Monte Carlo Rallies, Sebastien Loeb admitted that he was not a fan of the longer route, saying: "It's not for me.
"I think it's a bit long for everybody, for the journalist, the drivers and I'm not sure it brings more media for the extra two days. For the private drivers, it's also more complicated and more expensive – I'm not a fan of that."
Event officials have already met to discuss reducing the event by one day, but a source close to the Automobile Club de Monaco said shifting away from Valance could be tough.
The source said: "Valence gives the rally a lot more freedom. There's so much more chance for the ACM to make a challenging rally coming down to Monaco from there. It would be a surprise if it does move to a full-time Monaco base, but there are strong opinions on this."