Powered by Google
      decoration       decoration       decoration       decoration       decoration       decoration      
  Pre-season roundup
  Season 1973
  Season 1974
  Season 1975
  Season 1976
  Season 1977
  Season 1978
  Season 1979
  Season 1980
  Season 1981
  Season 1982
  Season 1983
  Season 1984
  Season 1985
  Season 1986
  Season 1987
  Season 1988
  Season 1989
  Season 1990
  Season 1991
  Season 1992
  Season 1993
  Season 1994
  Season 1995
  Season 1996
  Season 1997
  Season 1998
  Season 1999
  Season 2000
  Season 2001
  Season 2002
  Season 2003
  Season 2004
  Season 2005
  Season 2006
  Season 2007
  Season 2008
  Season 2009
    WRC Calendar
    Rule changes
    Championship standings
    Result compilation
    Season statistics
  Season 2010
  Season 2011
  Season 2012
  Season 2013
  Season 2014
  Season 2015
  Season 2016
  Season 2017
  Season 2018
  Season 2019
  Season 2020
  Season 2021
  Season 2022
  Season 2023
  Season 2024
  Home > Seasons > Season 2009
Six in a row for Loeb
When 2009 season began, everyone expected Loeb to win the championship once again. Five events on and everything seemed to be right on track for him - five wins on a trot and 20 points ahead of Mikko Hirvonen. But just three rallies later Hirvonen led championship by one point as Loeb's magnificient run had come to a virtual standstill - following an off in Acropolis and another shunt in Poland, though not a terminal one this time.

Combined with Mikko's first win at home in Finland, Loeb's problems in Sardinia and time penalty in Australia handed championship lead to Hirvonen. Loeb responded like multiple champion and won both of the remaining events and along with those, the sixth consecutive drivers' title with one point advantage over Hirvonen. The championship title was not decided until the final event of the season and afterwards Loeb admitted that this was his hardest fought title.

Behind the top, competition was thin. After 2008 season World Rally Championship was left with just two works teams - Citroen and Ford. Both fielded a satellite team to spice up the competition but to a little effect. Even if one bears in mind that both Subaru and Suzuki had mostly been also-rans in 2008, in competition side of the sport the change was to a worse.

The biggest change of the season was calendar. Number of events was cut down from 15 to 12 and many classics were out. Number one casualty was Monte Carlo, though it is understood that this was more due to organisers own wish. Sweden's place was taken by Norway, New Zealand was replaced by Rally Australia in new location and also Corsica was out. Besides new version of the Rally Australia, another old friend made comeback. This was Rally Poland, which previously had been part of the WRC in 1973!

In terms of rule changes, longer events were permitted but in average, organisers did not take advantage of this change. Also, mixed surface events were again permitted and Rally Cyprus ran first day in tarmac and two last days on gravel. Citroen cleverly took advantage of this by running worn tyres on tarmac sections and gained a lot of time.

New cars
With just two works teams and impending ban on current formula of World Rally Cars it was again very quiet on the technical front. Ford admittedly did debut 2009 version of the Focus but as usually, this was in name only.

During the season, a lot was expected from the FIA technical groups to see what direction the new rally cars would go to. Initially the route seemed to be the existing Super 2000 formula but further the year progressed, the more focus changed towards 1.6 liter turbo charged version.

Sebastien Loeb
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2009 FIA World Rally Champions, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  no new winners
first drivers' point
  K. al-Qassimi (Ireland)
  N. al-Attiyah (Argentina)
  E. Novikov (Sardinia)
  L. Athanassoulas (Acropolis)
  K. Holowczyc (Poland)
  J. Ketomaa (Finland)
first stage win
  P. Andersson (Norway)
  E. Novikov (Acropolis)