The FX Pro 2009 Cyprus Rally was raced from the 13th-15th March. It was unique as it was the first mixed surface round on only 1 tyre. Day 1 was run fully on tarmac, while days 2 and 3 were on the twisty gravel roads. The gravel tyre was the only one allowed for the 3 days. It was won by Sebastien Loeb in the Citroen C4 and with it came his 50th career world rally win. Mikko Hirvonen pushed him hard but Loeb was not to be undone and won the rally by 27.2 seconds. Petter Solberg in his privateer Citroen Xsara took an amazing 3rd place after an awe-inspiring run on days 2 and 3.
Day 1 Edit
Day 1 however was dominated by the works Citroen team. Loeb is unstoppable on tarmac and it showed as he built up a lead of 40 seconds. His team-mate Dani Sordo was 2nd after a stage win on the final one of the day. But chasing the Citroens were the BP Fords. Mikko Hirvonen finished the day 3rd but he was a whole minute off Loeb. His team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was 4th. Petter Solberg struggled somewhat on the tarmac but still held 5th. That was better than his brother Henning, who retired before the rally even begun after hitting a car. He unded up half an hour off the leader thanks to Superally. Sebastien Ogier was 6th, Evengy Novikov was 7th and Matthew Wilson was in the final points position in 8th.
Day 2 Edit
Day 2 however saw the Fords beat the Citroen's on the opening stage of the day. The next stage was a mixed one for Ford. Hirvonen took second place from Sordo but sadly, Latvala fell into a ditch and got stuck there for nearly 22 minutes and any chance of a podium or even a win was gone. Wilson though was on a roll and passed both of the Citroen Juniors to move to 5th. Petter Solberg was also on a charge and took 2 stage wins in a row, putting him just 15.9 seconds behind Sordo by the end of the day. Loeb's lead though was kept at 50 seconds despite a brake problem near the end of the day. Wilson was 5th but in a massive battle with Ogier. Novikov was on course for his best result in 7th. Rautenbach completed the top 8.
Day 3 Edit
Day 3 was based of just 3 stages, one of which was the longest stage of the rally at 40 km. On that stage Solberg stole 3rd from Sordo after a blistering time, no less than 41 seconds quicker than the C4. Ogier had also moved past Wilson for 5th. Day 3 was one to forget for the Citroen Junior Team. Novikov crashed out on the opening stage of the day and then 200 metres from the end of the rally, Ogier cut a hairpin and got stuck in the ditch on the inside, forcing him to retire from the rally. This and a stage win on the same stage as Ogier's mistake put Wilson in 5th. Conrad Rautenbach was one of the drivers who got strong points from the mistakes. He finished in 6th place. Federico Villagra of the Munchi's Team was 7th and Khalid Al Quassimi took 8th.
1 Sebastien Loeb Citroen C4 126.96.36.199
2 Mikko Hirvonen Ford Focus +27.2
3 Petter Solberg Citroen Xsara +1.49.4
4 Dani Sordo Citroen C4 +2.26.3
5 Matthew Wilson Ford Focus +6.41.0
6 Conrad Rautenbach Citroen C4 +11.11.9
7 Federico Villagra Ford Focus +13.18.5
8 Khalid Al Quassimi Ford Focus +13.44.1
Drivers Championship Edit
1 Sebastien Loeb 30 pts
2 Mikko Hirvonen 22 pts
3 Dani Sordo 17 pts
4 Henning Solberg 10 pts
5 Petter Solberg 9 pts
6 Matthew Wilson 8 pts
7 Jari-Matti Latvala 6 pts
8 Chris Atkinson 4 pts
Manufacturers' Championship Edit
1 Citroen Total World Rally Team 48 pts
2 BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 32 pts
3 Stobart VK M-Sport World Rally Team 22 pts
4 Citroen Junior Rally Team 11 pts
5 Munchi's Ford World Rally Team 3 pts