There are days you may wonder: What is the real speed? What is the fast that frightens and thrills? Is it here, writhing before me? No. It is at the Rallye Monte Carlo, and the WRC cars cutting across its dirt-strewn mountain roads.

The Monte is on this week into the weekend, with four-cylinder turbos bleating through some of the world’s most difficult driving roads. Real roads. Narrow roads. Bumpy roads. Not racetrack roads. Real roads. Roads with cliffs. Roads with trees. Roads with dirt and gravel swept onto them. Roads with ice. Roads with snow. Roads with potholes and rocks and all that. Real real roads, with race cars on them. Race cars that are also road cars. Rally cars. Real rally cars of big speed and thunder, wings and diffs and big big roll cages.