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eRallye Monte Carlo 2016

eRallye Monte Carlo 2016

FLAATEN & KAREMBEU

FLAATEN & KAREMBEU

ONLY FEMALE DRIVER

ONLY FEMALE DRIVER

RENAULTs 4 TEAM

RENAULTs 4 TEAM

READY FOR THE RACE

READY FOR THE RACE

TWO LADIES - ONE CAR

TWO LADIES - ONE CAR

COPY

This page is copied from Gro's

old car blog (2016)

eRallye Monte-Carlo 2016

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

WHY ME?

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. 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 co-driver. Renault needed a driver for this car and they wanted to think  "outside of the box". Norway is a pioneering country for electric cars and earlier this autumn, Zoe number 100,000 was sold to a Norwegian (which was marked with lunch and gift presentations, etc.). Could the driver be Norwegian?

 

I do not fully 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 knew no more). The selection of female car journalists in Norway can be counted on a few fingers, so I understand that 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 signed up for. I had not driven a Renault Zoe and did not have much experience with electric cars. 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 solely 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 in the automotive industry, authorities, special needs of the participants, etc., ACM believes that this year they have started a new chapter in erally.

 

THE ORIGINAL RALLY MONTE-CARLO DISTANCE

- 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. It is also no disadvantage to start 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 the Ministry of Seine-et-Marne in France . Here, recalled King Louis XIV of France Edict of Nantes in 1685 , here was Pope Pius VII was held captive by Emperor Napoleon I 1812 - 1814 , and here the emperor surrendered in April 1814. From 1949 to 1966 the castle was the NATO headquarters.The royal castle Fontainebleau was built in the 16th century by Henry II of France and Catherine

d´Medici.)

Our car. Zoe - participant car no. 21

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

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

AVERAGE SPEED - NOT FULL SPEED

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 I was all 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.

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ZE ZOE TEAM

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 like 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.

And

Team Zoe was more than the eight of us, divided into four participating cars. There was also a support staff 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 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 directions. 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 departure, but I had not looked at it much, because it is really 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. As is well known, it drips a little on the watch as well.

ADRIANA KAREMBEU

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, just 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.

Map of the last three distances. 

COL DE TURINI

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 Renault dealer who had invited his 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 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 past four 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.

 

DANCE WITH ZOE

It was insanely fun to drive last night in the famous serpentine roads. Without being aware of being in the Col de Turini (I only learned that afterwards and though it is a familiar area) I shouted to Adriana (in the sharpest turns) " I feel like I'm 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.. Awesome! WOW ...

FINISH LINE MONTE-CARLO

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 updated on our position and then it carried down the mountain,  out on the highway and full speed in the city streets, until we reached the finish line on the quay in Monte-Carlo. Wow - what a rush! 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 results, 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 - overall. It was so much fun! They participated last year and were well prepared. There was no downside. They both received a big trophy and were super happy. Well done!

IN TOTAL

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 Team Zoe, the nice gang that enriched a few days in October which I will never forget.

Thank you so much Renault and Roger who gave me the opportunity! I will not say no a next time ..

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

COL DE TURINI

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.

 

DANCE WITH ZOE

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 ...

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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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