The official entry list for the 92nd Monte-Carlo Automobile Rally was unveiled by the event’s organisers, the Automobile Club de Monaco, on Monday, January 8.

Having been introduced in 1911, the Monte-Carlo Rally is the oldest event on the calendar, and also the first each year. The local rally is the opening event of the 2024 FIA ​​World Rally Championship, a series wherein only the best rally drivers compete, as evidenced by an impressive entry list.

Against all expectations, Sébastien Ogier is defending his title yet again this year. The 40 year-old driver is a nine-time winner of the Monte-Carlo Rally and a native of nearby Gap, so he will surely be a force to be reckoned with behind the wheel of the Toyota Yaris Rally1 Hybrid and on familiar roads.

Strong competition awaits Ogier this year in the form of his own Toyota Gazoo Racing teammate Elfyn Evans and Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT drivers Ott Tanäk and 2020 Monte-Carlo Rally winner Thierry Neuville.

Only eight cars compete in the top category, while WRC2 sees 24 cars compete and only three in WRC3 alongside 35 ‘non-priority competitors’. The list is limited to 70 places in total, so the Selection Committee had to make some difficult decisions.

“We registered 112 applications, and 93 of them met the criteria set out in our Supplementary Regulations. Unfortunately, we had to reject 23 of them,” says Eric Barrabino, General Commissioner of the Automobile Club de Monaco and Director of the Monte-Carlo Rally, adding with some regret that “As an organiser, having to turn down participants is not something you do easily, believe us! I won’t get into the details of the real puzzle that the selection represents, but a multitude of criteria have been considered to ensure that, in the end, some twenty regional drivers will be able to take part against an international elite.”

The rally will officially start at the Place du Casino just before 17:00 on Thursday, January 25, giving supporters a chance to see their rally heroes set off right from the heart of the Principality.

Featured image courtesy of ACM J. Clerc / Dir. Communication M. Alesi