As absolute beginners in this discipline, we hugely enjoyed the thrill of being real-life rally drivers in an event that has provided us with some great stories to tell.
Sure, we couldn't have been in better company: Greg and Yves Munier had prepared the route with a very comprehensive roadbook and a wealth of information to help us run our very first rally.
But as in any competition, preparation is one thing and the actual event quite another. We were delighted to see our meticulous approach rewarded with second place in the first leg, but pride turned to disappointment at the eight penalty points we got in the second regularity test. Half way through the event we found ourselves off the podium, which was no longer 100% ZE ZOE TEAM.
Things then actually got worse in the last leg. Owing to a connection problem we started off in the last test without the on-board systems we need for calculating times and distances. And this so disturbed us that we ended up taking a wrong turning. In a matter of seconds, all our hopes of getting back on that podium seemed to evaporate. But instead of dwelling on our misfortune, we owed it to ourselves and our highly supportive teammates to put this behind us and do better.
We weren't the only team to fall into the trap. And thanks to our good performance in the last trial of the rally we managed to finish third overall, behind two other ZOE teams: the winners Pascal and Aurore Ferry, followed by Greg and Yves Munier in second place.
And that's not all: by paying very close attention to electricity consumption throughout the event we won the trophy for the lowest consumption. Despite the 48 kilometres of regularity tests, during which consumption considerations took a back seat, we finished the 208 kilometres of the rally with just 29.4 kWh on the meter.
ZE ZOE TEAM swept the table: topping the regularity, overall and consumption rankings. And we left Monaco with a wonderful store of anecdotes, on corners taken too tight, reverse gear selected (were it not, thankfully, for Renault's thoughtful safety interlock) at over 50 km/h in a dumb attempt to use the reversing camera, along with a host of memorably cryptic comments, many of them involving hairpins going in every imaginable direction seemingly all at the same time.
With its two specialist crews (previous event winners) and us in our consumption champion ZOE number 110, ZE ZOE TEAM took the first three places, followed in fourth place by a private team from Saint-Etienne in its own ZOE, ahead of two former FIA champions in this discipline. Not bad!
ZOE is great to drive in everyday life. And ZOE is great to drive in competition. See you soon for further electrifying adventures!
by Alexandre Stricher (blogger for AUTOcult.fr)