Rally Report by Steve Carman
Images by Steve Carman
January 18th, 2022 – Monaco was the first event on the calendar for the 2022 CMS Rally Championship and 26 entrants took to the starting line in a wide variety of machines. The venerable BMW E30 M3 was the most popular weapon, but a surprising number of drivers opted for the old tech Datsun 240Z and Lancia Stratos. Michael Mortensen opted for the short wheelbase high power R5 Turbo and Manuel Sentino opted for the turbo kick of the Sierra Cosworth. The daytime stages were relatively good weather with occasional snow flurries. When the sun went down the going got more treacherous with snow and frozen roads at higher altitudes to challenge the entrants.
Straight out of the start control on the first stage Marvin Warthöfe in his 240Z showed the red-hot pace he became known for last year. Putting 6 seconds on to his nearest competitor Paul Müller in his 240Z. Aleksander Saetre and Philipp Janssen ended up 3rd and 4th with little more than .5 second separating them and Lutz Müller filled out the top five.
Lutz Miller Hanging it out (above)
On stage 2 Janssen found a few seconds to move into 3rd place relegating Saetre to 4th with Lutz Müller holding 5th in the dated Opel Ascona.
Janssen making up time (above)
The order of things remained the same through the finish of stage 5 with the top 5.
On stage 6 Lutz Müller had a moment and lost some valuable time slipping down to 7th place. Roger Jackman took advantage and moved into 5th place.
Stage 8 was the last of 4 low altitude stages with decent weather where it was possible to run soft tires. Warthöfe continued to put on a show extending his lead over second place Paul Müller. Meanwhile Janssen continued to claw back time from Paul with just under 8 seconds separating them overall. Lutz Müller took advantage of his worn softs and put in a blistering stage to ascend back into 5th position overall.
After the last service competitors set out in snowy weather on stage 9, with the hazards increasing as the altitude increased. The top 5 remained unchanged.
Drew Glover exits stage left (above) – a common thing as Monaco claimed many a car
Stage 10 saw the top 5 remain the same but Michael Mortensen managed to slowly ascend up the order to eighth place driving the challenging short wheelbase R5 Turbo. By this point attrition was taking it’s toll with 4 cars DNFing including a scary Cliffside exit by Drew Glover’s BMW.
The top 5 remained the same through the final finish control after a hard night of driving in treacherous conditions. The final top 10 after stage 12 were:
- Marvin Warthöfe 240 Z
- Paul Müller 240 Z
- Philipp Janssen 240 Z
- Aleksander Saetre BMW E3 M3
- Lutz Müller Opel Ascona
- Steve Carman BMW E3 M3
- Roger Jackman BMW E3 M3
- Michael Mortensen Renault 5 Turbo
- Austin Powell BMW E3 M3
- Morgan McCalister BMW E3 M3
Paul Muller (above) in route to a runner up spot
From here the Championship moves on to the cold and slippery conditions of Sweden for the second leg of the series.