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eRallye Monte Carlo 2016

eRallye Monte Carlo 2016











eRallye Monte-Carlo 2016


An experience of a lifetime. Paris - Monte-Carlo in an electric car with a long-legged model as a map reader. A journey through French landscapes. Night driving in Monaco's famous turpentine roads around the Col de Turini. The best week at work - ever!


There was a car show in Paris (in October) and Renault launched the new version of its electric car, the Zoe, with a range improvement from 210 to 400 km. A really good news, in other words. An electric car that puts Renault in a strong position in relation to competitors who do not yet have the same range to report. Big jubalong and very cool. A reason to celebrate in Renault. The celebration was to be crowned with four participating, new Zoes in the eRallye Monte-Carlo 12.-16. October.


One of the cars was to be driven by someone specially selected. Renault had the very popular host and model, Adriana Karambeu on the team. She has participated in rallies before and wanted to be a map reader. Renault needed a driver for this car and they wanted to think a little "out of the box". Norway is a pioneer country for electric cars and earlier this autumn became  Zoe number 100,000 sold to a Norwegian (something that was marked with lunch and gift presentations, etc.). Could the Norwegian (or woman) be Norwegian?


I do not quite understand how I was chosen, but I think it was because Roger Andersen, Renault Norway's PR and marketing manager, was in the right place at the right time and is not afraid to strike when an opportunity arises. At least I got an email asking if I was free from October 11 to 16, and if so, I had the opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience. He could not tell more (he did not know more), he either. The selection of female car journalists in Norway  can be counted on a few fingers, so I realize I had more  luck than anything else. I'm extremely happy that I got the chance and that I took it, even though I did not quite understand what I accepted. I had not driven a Renault Zoe and did not have much experience with electric cars before. I did as Pippi did and said: I have not done this before, so it's probably going well ...

WHAT IS eRallye Monte-Carlo?

The former Rallye Monte-Carlo "ZENN", which has only been  for electric cars, was this year converted to apply to 100% zero-emission and CO2-free vehicles (electric, hydrogen, solar cell ,, etc.) with 4 wheels, registered for road traffic, for a minimum of two to a maximum of five people. The event dates back to 1995 when the organizing committee of the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) initiated the "Rallye Monte-Carlo des Energies Nouvelles", later the Monte-Carlo Rally ZENN (Zero Emission - No Noise).

Due to constant changes and further development within  the car industry, authorities, special needs of the participants, etc., ACM considers that this year they have started a new chapter in erally.



- was driven on the same roads from Paris to Monaco. For practical reasons, the rally starts in Fontainebleau instead of in thickest Paris. Fontainebleau is located about 50 km south of Paris and is a practical starting point in terms of traffic and timetable. There is also no disadvantage to starting outside the beautiful castle where several French kings and leaders  have lived.

(Wikipedia: Fontainebleau  (from  fontaine belle eau) is a small town with 15  600 inhabitants (1 January 2004) in  départementet  Seine-et-Marne  in  France . Here the king recalled  Louis XIV of France The Edict of Nantes  in  1685 , here became pope  Pius VII  held as a prisoner by the emperor  Napoleon I  1812 - 1814 , and here the emperor surrendered in April 1814. From  1949  to  1966  was the castle of the place  NATO Headquarters. The royal castle Fontainebleau was built in the 16th century by Henry II of France and Katharina d´Medici.)

Hva er eRallye Monte-Carlo

Our car. Zoe - delakerbil nr 21

Renault's four teams, ZE ZOE TEAM, in front of Chateau de Courances in Fontainebleau:

From left: Pascal (Mco) and Aurore Ferry (Off) (9), Michael Terregrossa (Off) and Alexandre Stricher (Off) (19), Greg Jongerlynk (Off) and Yves Munier (Off) (2) and Adriana Karembeu ( Svk) and Gro Flaaten (Nor) (21).


In eRallye Monte-Carlo, it's not about driving the fastest. It's about making driving as close to the average speed as possible. A number of GPS points are placed along the way. These only the organizer knows about, so it is important to keep a steady speed in each stage. We did not start the competition until Thursday night. Then the first race was on track. It was a bit "hyped" in advance. We did not know what the speed would be until just before the race and with helmets and it was all I was prepared for the worst. I had nerves that I would not be able to keep up. Have ridden on the track several times, and know that it is very challenging to keep the same speed as the driven guys. I had been nervous about this since I had to get a doctor's certificate for the participant certificate - or the Racing license, as it is called.

We laughed a lot after the track run. It felt ironic to drive with helmets  when the average speed was only 46.6 km / h, but rules are rules .... 

We had a good laugh after the first road stage as well. Adriana accidentally hit the adjustment lever of the average speedometer, so I drove an average of 58.8  km / h, ie over 10 km / h error. Towards the end of the stage I drove past one of the Tesla participant cars. I thought it was too slow with them. The one who laughs last ...

The text continues after the pictures

Yves Munier (map reader in car no. 2) has invented a "gadget" that lights up red, green and yellow according to how we drove in relation to the ideal average speed. Here he has Adriana in training.

IMG_6545 (1)


I was a stranger who did not know a single one of the others when I left Norway. I had had email contact with a couple of them, but it was only for practical things such as forms, doctor's statement, program, etc. I had been a little upset due to little or lack of information about what I was actually registered for and was in regret mode when I landed in Paris the day before the joint start. This changed as soon as I arrived in Fontainebleau.  

Team Zoe was more than the eight of us, divided into four participating cars. There was also a support apparatus with press contact, photographer and technical support, interspersed with all other follow-up such as getting water, Cola Zero (can not live without), chocolate, headlights, reading boards, etc. Renault has a cooperation agreement with a company called The Flying Doctors. With us were four employees, including the owner, who made sure that we did not have to think for half a second that the cars had to be charged or other technical things. Especially comfortable for us participants when the power went out in one of the cities we had lunch and charging stops in. Then they went out and charged at Ikea and other large department stores. All I had to do was drive the car, Renault Zoe, with start number 21. My job was really quite simple. Accelerate, brake, turn, drive according to Adriana's instructions. Her job was more complicated. She had to get acquainted with "the Roadbook" and all the gadgets that were installed to measure our driving.


I had been sent the Roadbook before leaving, but I had not looked at it much, because it really is  very detailed, describes all the signs, intersections etc we must take into account in the race. It is the one that tells us if we are in the right place and after that we can calculate time in relation to distances etc. Such a "pilot" as it is called in French, can not go in depth and therefore it is the map reader's job. Fortunately, Adriana had done this before, so she had an idea of what we were involved in. She did everything to do a good job and I could definitely trust that we were on the right track and course throughout the race.   We got in good contact and had a good trip together in every way. The others on the team were also fantastic. There was service at all points and I was taken care of and looked after on an equal footing with Adriana, even though she was the celebrity. Luckily for me she was my co-pilot. It drips as is well known  a little on the clock too. 


Stine Fratras in Renault Norway, is half French and gave me a little hint before I left, that it was not anyone I should share a car with and have as a map reader. She said I should google her to be a little prepared. I did not make it, and I did not think much about it until I SAW her. She is an extremely long-legged beauty of 185 cm. Her legs are mentioned as the longest in the world in the Guinness Book of Records. 21 cm taller than me she is. People were supposed to take selfies with her wherever we were and she was barely at peace on the toilet. Before leaving, there were various newspaper and TV interviews. One of the newspaper journalists also interviewed me. I think he thought he "had to". Maybe he felt sorry for me who was in the shadows ... Later there was a TV interview too ... 

Adriana grew up in Slovakia under harsh conditions. She studied medicine for three years before dropping out to make a living as a full-time model. Among other things, she has been a model for Victoria's Secret. Modeling has made her independent and she has been able to help her family financially. She has a particularly good relationship with her sister, who lives in Paris and is a lawyer. Adriana has contributed to a standard of living she could only dream of in her home country.

Karembeu is the surname Adriana got when she married the football player Christian Karembeu. He has played for Real Madrid, Olympiakos, Middlesborough FC and been on the French national team where he was an important player when they won the World Cup in 1998. Now they are divorced and Adriana is not a football lady. By no means. She has built her own career and lives well on modeling assignments and other things. She is also a popular TV presenter, has published several books and is particularly interested in science.

Adriana lives half and half in Morocco and Monte-Carlo. She is married to Aram Ohanian who runs restaurants in both Marrakech and Monte-Carlo, where Adriana is also involved whenever she can. Next autumn, they will open a small luxury hotel in Marrakech,  completely to Adriana's taste. I look forward to making a report from there when the time comes.

When you share a car in almost all waking hours of the day for four days, it is an advantage to get along well. We had many good conversations and got very good contact. Adriana is a really good lady with good values and a good outlook on life. She is positive and gentle and I understand why she is so popular. Everyone loves her! I've got a new, good friend.

Adriana Kerembeu
Zoe Team

Map of the last three distances. 


Most people who know something about the Rally Monte-Carlo (not the electric car variant, it is probably new to most people) know the winding roads around the Col de Turini. This is often where the chaff is separated from the wheat, so to speak. Even at low speeds (ie NOT ban stick) these are roads that require their pilots and co-pilots (sounds more fun than drivers and map readers). I thought a little before this last night. Was sigen after a long night's journey from the track in Alés with three subsequent distances between Fontvieille and Draguignan, interspersed with a deafening stop at a large Renaul converter that had invited its customers to a big festivity. French noise tempted little. I was afraid the contact lenses would get dry and had broken my glasses in two, so there was no alternative to driving. With strengths of +6.75 and +5.25, there was also no alternative without lenses. So I slept under the desk in the director's office ... I did not regret it. When we arrived in Monte-Carlo it was four o'clock on Saturday morning and in front of us we had the last three decisive rounds around the Col de Turini on Saturday night with preparations and lunch in Monte-Carlo.



It was crazy fun to drive last night in the famous serpentine roads. Without being aware of being in the Col de Turini (I have only now learned that afterwards and although it is a familiar area) I shouted to Adriana (in the sharpest turns) " I feel like I am dancing with the car! " It was a pinch -say-in-the-arm experience. I got the feeling I sometimes get on skis when the rhythm and everything is right. Shit cult! WOW ...

Col de Turini


When we finally drove through the checkpoint at the finish line, we were half an hour overtime (around 01:00 at night). We, like many others, received penalty points for it. I was not aware that we had to work against the clock, so I did not stress when we were stopped by a paparazzi car (Lexus with an open roof and full of camera equipment and a film photographer). We also took our time before each "take-off" (or whatever it's called). When we passed the last measuring point, I was told to stand and then it carried down the mountain sides out on the highway and full gas in the city streets, until we reached the finish line on the quay in Monte-Carlo. Hoi - then it went away. Too bad it was not part of the program, because it was very nerve-wracking and fun. We raced with a small, two-seater Tesla. 

In total we had three  very good placements, one really bad (when we drove too fast) and the rest so-so-so and ended up in a 17th place (out of 35). The one car in the Zoe Team, No. 19, driven by Alexandre Stricher and Michael Torregrossa, came in 3rd place overall. It was so much fun! They participated last year and were well prepared. There was no downside. They each received their big trophy and were super happy. Good work!


It was, as Roger said, a "once in a lifetime experience". I'm wildly excited about the electric car rally. It's a joy to drive an electric car (read Zoe) when you feel like it's like dancing and the rhythm is good. The best thing about the whole trip was still all the experiences with Zoe Team, the nice gang that enriched a few days in October that I will never forget.

Thank you so much Renault and Roger who gave me the opportunity! I'm not saying no another time either. ..

ACM's official video from the rally can be found below the photos


If the video image does not appear, click HERE

Automobile Club de Monaco´s official video from eRallye Monte-Carlo 2016:



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