The 2009 WRC season review
The battle for the World Rally Championship crown went all the way down to the finale between Citroen's Sebastien Loeb and Ford's Mikko Hirvonen. David Evans tells the story of the Frenchman's sixth consecutive title
Round 1 Rally Ireland, January 29-February 1
Winner: Sebastien Loeb
It didn't just rain in Sligo on the morning of the start of this year's World Rally Championship, it absolutely bucketed down. The rain came down so hard that some of the crews took the winter tyre option as opposed to the nominated asphalt rubber on offer.
Loeb didn't do that for the first loop – and dropped 42 seconds on the opening stage. But, guess what? With the right covers bolted on his C4 WRC, the Frenchman fired it back to the front to win the event by a minute and a half from his team-mate Dani Sordo. Mikko Hirvonen was the closest Ford in third place.
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