The organizers of the Monte Carlo Rally have instigated a last-minute change to the route to include a service midway through the opening leg of next week's Intercontinental Rally Challenge opener.
Originally, the Automobile Club de Monaco had planned a tough day with four stages, 84 competitive miles and no service between the two loops of tests on Wednesday. Yesterday, however, the teams were issued with a bulletin to explain that what had originally been planned as a tire service in Vals les Bains has now been switched to a full service.
Ford's coordinator John Millington explained: "The organizers have combined a 10-minute regroup and 10-minute tire service into a 20-minute service, but there are still restrictions on what can be taken and used on the car. Only one van and four mechanics will attend the service."
Defending IRC champion Kris Meeke said the revision to the itinerary would not make too much difference to the competitors.
"If you have a problem coming out of the second stage, there's 53 kilometers on the road to do to get to service, so you're probably not going to make it there anyway," he said. "I wasn't that concerned about the lack of a service in the first place – the priority is the tires and the chance to change those. OK, if you have a driveshaft or something like that break on the car, this service will make a difference and will help keep you in the rally with a time loss. At the end of the day, if the rules are the same for all of us, it doesn't matter."