F1VRR since the Monte Carlo Rally came into being in 1911 it has steadily grown in favour. In those days, adventurous as it was to journey so far as Monte Carlo, the distance required in order to have a chance of success was not so great, Paris or Berlin being suitable starting points. With the greater reliability of modern cars, however, a premium has been placed on mileage, and in the last few years the Arctic Circle has been carefully combed with a view to finding a starting place giving the greatest possible mileage to Monte Carlo.

This necessity of covering a long distance in a certain time in itself accounts to a large measure for the Rally’s continued popularity among sporting motorists, and this year competition should prove keener than ever. As last year, the longest itinerary will be that from Athens, with a distance of 3.786 km. although Tallin, in Finland, is only 6 kilos. shorter. Other far-distant points are Bucharest (3,772 km.), Umea (3,736 km.) and Stavanger (3,652 km.). In 1931 Donald Healey (Invicta)

was the winner, starting from Stavanger, while last January Vasselle (Hotchkiss) made Umea his starting point. Although Athens is the greatest distance from Monte Carlo, the route presents almost insuperable difficulties in the way of appalling road conditions in Salonika, but it is a sure indication of the way in which events of this nature assist car development that this route has recently been conquered. In 1931 no one got through from the Greek capital in time, the best effort being that of Jacques Bignan on a Fiat. In the following year, however, several competitors succeeded, notably Rupert Riley on an” Overseas” Riley, and Andre Boillot on a Peugeot.

For the forthcoming Rally the only British entrant who has so far stated his intention of starting from Athens is Rupert Riley, again at the wheel of an ” Overseas ” Riley. His experience last year should prove invaluable, and everyone will wish him the best of luck. As is only to be expected from a firm who make a determined effort to perform successfully in long distance reliability trials, the Riley

people are really more advanced with their plans than any other English entrants, seven cars having already been nominated, three being the official team and the rest consisting of private individuals.

The official team is Rupert Riley, V. E. Leverett (who won the junior class in 1931) and G. F. Dennison. Leverett will drive a ” Gamecock ” two-seater from Bucharest, another English crew starting from this point being E. Prestwich and Tanner at the wheel of an M.G. Midget. There has been a rumour that the road from Bucharest to Jassa is often impassable in winter, the snow being very thick and effectively hindering cars for weeks at a time. The last member of the team, G. F. Dennison, will also pilot a “Gamecock,” but will make Umea his zero point, while Mrs. Raymond Gough will be another starter from Umea in her Riley. Tallin, in Finland, will probably attract a considerable number of British entrants, but the only definite starters so far are Norman Black with an Essex ” Terraplane,” and Jack Hobbs, veteran of many trials, with his open 4-seater Riley. A “Speed Twenty” Alvis will probably start from Tallin, driven by C. S. Hollingshurst. Another Essex

Terraplane ” starts from John o’Groats, driven by F. S. Couldrey, and as usual a good field will take this Scottish extremity as their “kicking off” point. Two Rileys have already been entered, namely, by Mrs. Montague Johnstone and Commander G. N. Maltby. The rules of the Rally, which is organised by the International Sporting Club of Monte Carlo in conjunction with the Automobile Club of Monaco, are of the normal type, involving controls, etc., and an average speed of 25 m.p.h. has to be maintained throughout. Although the cars are divided into two classes, over and under 1,500 c.., the same average speed has to be maintained by both categories. The large cars must carry four passengers, and the 1,500 c.c. vehicles two, such passengers being “non transferable,” and must stick out the whole journey

without being relieved by reserves half way through.

The much discussed Slow-Running Test at the finish, in order to ascertain the condition of the competing cars after their long journey, has been cancelled this year, and an Acceleration and Braking Test substituted in its stead. Cars will hav,! to accelerate as fast as possible for 100 metres from a standing start, and then pull up in the shortest possible distance, no skidding sideways being allowed, for the cars have to keep between 2 lines, 4 metres apart. The Rally competitors are due to arrive at Monte Carlo on January 25th, the Acceleration and Braking Test taking place immediately on arrival. The following day is a day of rest. On Friday, the 27th, a competition for the most comfortable car is to be held on the Terraces of the Casino. On Saturday afternoon, from 2 to 5, the “Mont des Mules Hill Climb takes place on the Beausoleil-La Turbie road, between the Riviera Palace and the Junction of the Grand Corniche Road The length of the hill is three kilometres, with a gradient of approxi

mately six per cent., and the climb is optional to Rally entrants, having no bearing on the results. Finally, on Sunday, 29th January, there is a Parade of Cars and Dis

tribution of the Prizes at 2 p.m. and in the evening a dinner offered by the International Sporting Club in honour of the Competitors of the Rally and their passengers.