Rallye Sanremo is a rally competition held in Sanremo, Italy. Except for the 1995 event, the event was part of the FIA World Rally Championship schedule from the 1973 season to the 2003 season. Currently, it is a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and the Italian national rally championship.
The first "Rallye Internazionale di Sanremo" was held in 1928. The rally name's French word "rallye", as opposed to Italian "rally", was inspired by Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo. After another successful rally in 1929, the event was given to new organizers who decided to set up a street race through the town of Sanremo instead. The first one, 1° Circuito Automobilistico Sanremo, was held in 1937 and won by Achille Varzi. Rallye Sanremo was restarted in 1961 as Rallye dei Fiori ("Rally of the Flowers") and has been held every year since.
From 1970 to 1972, Rallye Sanremo was part of the International Championship for Manufacturers. From 1973 to 2003, the rally was on the World Rally Championship schedule, except for 1995 when the event was only part of the FIA 2-Litre World Championship for Manufacturers. The rally became the centre of controversy in 1986 after the stewards disqualified the factory Peugeot team at the end of the third day for using illegal side skirts, handing the victory to Lancia. Peugeot had used the same configuration in earlier rallies without any scrutineering problems and had also passed pre-rally scrutineering. Peugeot appealed but the organizers did not allow the team to continue the rally. FIA later confirmed that the exclusion had been illegal as the Peugeot cars were legal, and decided to annul the results of the whole event.
Rallye Sanremo was originally a mixed surface event (tarmac and gravel) but from 1997 on it was organized as an all-tarmac rally. After being dropped from the WRC schedule, Rallye Sanremo has been part of the Italian Rally Championship. Since 2006, it has also been a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
- 1 FIA later annulled the results of the 1986 event.