World champion Sebastien Loeb of France acknowledges the crowd in the service area after winning the 2009 Rally of Ireland during the trophy presentation in Sligo, Ireland, on February 1, 2009. The result was Loeb’s 48th career win and his second on the Irish round of the World Rally Championship.
This weekend, veteran racer Sebastian Loeb kicked off the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship season with a triumphant victory over Rally Ireland, the first event of the series. Successfully earning his 48th career win, Loeb finished the race on Sunday a full one minute and 27.9 seconds ahead of Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo, followed closely in third place by Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen. Although Loeb has proven a master of manipulating the asphalt, Sunday’s win did not come easily. Hampered by Ireland’s notoriously wet conditions, Loeb got off to a rocky start on Friday that ultimately lead to a conservatively (albeit winning) finish on Sunday.
Said Loeb, “Even though we weren’t on the ideal rubber for the first loop, we were able to control from in front. Don’t get me wrong; this weekend’s win was no stroll. Given the delicate conditions, it was essential to have a car that was easy to drive and my C4 WRC was perfect from start to finish. Today’s victory was obviously the best way possible to kick off this year’s championship.” Added Loeb, “It’s been really tough but I’m happy to take the 10 points.”
The second event of the ’09 WRC Season, Rally Norway, will take place February 13-15, 2009 in the town of Hamar.
Source: BBC News
Image Cred: AFP/Getty Images