- ŸNyqvist, Casiraghi, Helmer and Co. – stars enjoy taxi rides in the world championship-winning Polo
- ŸAround the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco: drifting with 318 HP
- ŸOgier, Latvala and Mikkelsen are probably the fastest hosts in the world
Nobility, sporting personalities, actors and TV presenters – to mark the start of Rally Monte Carlo, top international stars took a seat next to the world rally champions from Volkswagen. ‘Taxi rides’ around the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco in the Polo R WRC, the world championship-winning car from 2013, 2014 and 2015, gave them an impression of the driving skills of Sébastien Ogier (F), Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen (N).
Among the passengers in the rally Polo: actor Mikael Nyqvist, noted for his performances in many Swedish TV productions, particularly the adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy; Pierre Casiraghi, seventh in line to the throne of Monaco; former footballer Thomas Helmer, a European Championship winner with Germany in 1996; Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who topped the world rankings for 67 weeks; European Footballer of the Year 1991, Jean-Pierre Papin, who played for AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Marseille and Bordeaux; Finland’s most-capped footballer, Jari Litmanen; French rugby star Damien Chouly; and Allan McNish, former Formula 1 driver and three-time overall winner of the Le Mans 24-hour race.
“Wow! That was a real adrenalin rush. I did sit next to Pierce Brosnan in a car during filming one time – but Seb really knows what he is doing!” said Mikael Nyqvist after his drive with Sébastien Ogier. Caroline Wozniacki enjoyed a swift city tour with the three-time world champion and added: “I live here in Monaco – and this fast taxi ride was a great new experience for me. I felt really safe sitting next to Sébastien Ogier.”
The ceremonial start for Rally Monte Carlo also welcomed the German TV presenter Kai Pflaume, dancer Katrina Patchett and the world record holder in race walking, Yohann Diniz.
After the VIP rides and the ceremonial start in Monaco in the evening were finished, Rally Monte Carlo also marked the official launch of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season, with 14 rallies on four continents taking place on ice and snow, asphalt and gravel.
Volkswagen is defending all the world championship titles – in the Manufacturer, Driver and Co-Driver categories – for the third time in a row.