Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Cyprus 2009


CYPRUS IS BACK IN THE CALENDAR FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2006. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN KNOWN AS A CAR BREAKER AND 2009 WAS NO EXCEPTION. UNUSUALLY, IT WAS A MIXED-SURFACE EVENT - DAY 1 ON TARMAC (BUT USING GRAVEL TYRES TO CUT COSTS) AND DAYS 2 & 3 ON GRAVEL.

PETTER SOLBERG AND PHIL MILLS WERE HERE AGAIN AS WERE FEDERICO VILLAGRA FOR THE MUNCHI'S FORD TEAM AND KHALID AL QASSIMI FOR THE FORD TEAM. HENNING SOLBERG SHOULD HAVE JOINED HIS BROTHER BUT AN ACCIDENT ON THE ROAD SECTION LEADING TO THE DAY 1 START MEANT THAT HE DIDN'T MAKE THE START AND HAD TO RE-ENTER UNDER THE SUPER RALLY RULES ON DAY 2.

SEBASTIEN LOEB TOOK THE OTHER TEAMS BY SURPRISE IMMEDIATELY BY RUNNING PART-WORN GRAVEL TYRES FROM THE START OF THE DAY 1 TARMAC STAGES - EVERYONE ELSE OPTED FOR NEW GRAVEL TYRES. THE WISDOM OF HIS CHOICE WAS CLEAR STRAIGHTAWAY AND BY THE END OF THE DAY HE HAD BUILT UP A LEAD OF OVER A MINUTE FROM MIKKO HIRVONEN.

THE REASON FOR HIS CHOICE WAS THAT THE EXCESS OF RUBBER ON THE NEW TYRES MEANT THAT THE TYRES WOULD OVERHEAT FROM THE MOVEMENT OF THE TREAD BLOCKS AND LACK GRIP ON THE TARMAC WHEREAS THE PART-WORN TYRES WERE ALMOST THE SAME AS SLICK TYRES. THIS GAVE HIM THE SPRINGBOARD TO RECORD HIS 50TH WIN - AS HE SAID "A NICE ROUND NUMBER!".

HE WAS FOLLOWED ONTO THE PODIUM BY MIKKO HIRVONEN AND PETTER SOLBERG. A COMBINATION OF TEAM ORDERS FOR DANIEL SORDO TO IGNORE PETTER, BECAUSE HE WOULD NOT AFFECT THE MANUFACTURER'S POINTS, AND PETTER'S 3-YEAR OLD CAR, WHICH CAN STILL USE 'ACTIVE DIFFERENTIALS', BUT, ABOVE ALL, PETTER'S UNDIMINISHED SKILLS ENSURED THAT THE NORWEGIAN WOULD BE BACK WERE HE BELONGS - ON THE PODIUM.





RESULT

1. Sebastien Loeb / Citroen Total
2. Mikko Hirvonen / BP-Ford
3. Petter Solberg / Petter Solberg WRC
4. Daniel Sordo / Citroen Total
5. Matthew Wilson / Stobart VK Ford
6. Conrad Rautenbach / Citroen Junior
7. Federico Villagra / Munchi's Ford
8. Khalid al Qassimi / BP-Ford

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Sebastien Loeb 30
Mikko Hirvonen 22
Daniel Sordo 17
Henning Solberg 10
Petter Solberg 9
Matthew Wilson 8
Jari-Matti Latvala 6
Chris Atkinson 4

Constructors :

CitroŽn Total 48
BP-Ford 32
Stobart VK Ford 22
Citroen Junior Team 11
Munchi's Ford 3

Rally Results posted by
David Little
16th March 2009

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