The Tour de Corse, the final round of the inaugural WRC back in 1973, isn’t the only event on the 2017 calendar that appeared on the itinerary of that maiden season. Six other events are part of the original set and, with a few blips along the way, they’ve been a regular part of the series. All have been, or indeed are, a collection of gravel, asphalt or all-snow classics that every rally driver has striven to master. In chronological order according to their place on the 1973 calendar, these are the WRC’s super-seven.
Rallye Automobile De Monte Carlo
The very first WRC qualifier in January 1973, this week-long marathon was tackled by 278 crews, with just 51 making it to the finish, headed by a trio of Renault-Alpine A110s. Off the calendar in year two thanks to the oil crisis, it returned in 1975 to be the season-opener every year until 2008, bar 1989 when Sweden took a turn, and 1996 when the event was dropped under the unpopular and thankfully short-lived rotation system. It fell off the schedule again for three years between 2009 and 2011 to be part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, but returned in all its traditional glory for 2012.
Monte Fast Facts
- Walter Röhrl won the event four times for four different marques – Fiat (1980), Opel (’82), Lancia (’83) and Audi (’84).
- 305 crews entered the 1982 event – a WRC record.