INTRODUCTION: A major upset for the prestige Monte Carlo rally came early in the final stages on 27 January when the favourite, Finn Hannu Mikkola, skidded into a bridge and damaged his steering so badly that from then on he was out of contention for a top placing.
GV Car No. 10 slides round up and past camera, rounds two mountain bends
GV No. 9 rounds same corner, past camera, round same bends
GV No. 16 round corner, past camera, and round bends
GV No. 6 rounds different mountain bend, up past camera, disappears down straight
GV NO. 20 on twisting downhill mountain bend, past camera, disappears round another bend
GV No. 11 on same bend as No. 20, past camera, round bend
GV No. 2, downs twisting mountain pass, slides round bend past camera, disappears round another bend.
GV No. 4 rounds double mountain downhill bend, past camera, disappears round curve into distance
GV No. 58 up and past camera on same bends as No. 4
GV Unidentified Renault up and past camera, disappears round bend
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: We refer you to production No. 710/81 serviced 30/1/81 which covers later stages of the rally
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A major upset for the prestige Monte Carlo rally came early in the final stages on 27 January when the favourite, Finn Hannu Mikkola, skidded into a bridge and damaged his steering so badly that from then on he was out of contention for a top placing.
SYNOPSIS: Frenchman Jean-Luc Therier, in car No. 10, took over the lead. But he was to be knocked out on Thursday (29 January) when he cracked his Porsche's suspension.
Eventual winner was car No. 9, a Renault Five Turbo driven by another Frenchman, Jean Ragnotti. He was among the leaders from the outset and finished with a two minute, 45 second lead over fellow-countryman Guy Frequelin, who came second in car No. 16, a Talbot Lotus. He lay third on Thursday (28 January) as he raced through the hills above the Mediterranean resort.
West German Klaus Kleint finished third in an Opel Ascona, No. 6 dashing any hope of hat-trick for France. He was lying fourth on Thursday's stage.
Bruno Saby, another Frenchman and his Renault Five Turbo, were eventually unplaced.
Car No.11, an opel Ascona driven by Sweden's Anders Kullag, lay sixth on Thursday but moved up to finish fourth.
Finnish driver Markku Alan finished the rally in seventh place in car No. 2, a Fiat 131 Abarth.
Frenchman Bernard Darniche came from the back of the field to finish sixth in his Lancia Stratos, No. 4.
In all 227, cars came from eight different starting points to take part in this, the forty-ninth Monte Carlo Rally, still one of the sternest tests of man an machine known to the motorsport fraternity.