2009 Rally Ireland

The 2009 Rally Ireland, officially 2nd Rally Ireland, was the first round of the 2009 World Rally Championship season and was held between 30 January and 1 February 2009, it was also the opening round of the Junior World Rally Championship this season. Sligo was once again the rally base with the special stages being held on agricultural tarmac roads and major tarmac roads in the north west of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

2009 Rally Ireland
2nd Rally Ireland
Round 1 of the 2009 World Rally Championship
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North Sligo Town.jpg
An aerial view of Sligo, where Rally Ireland's headquarters located.
Host countryRepublic of Ireland Ireland/Northern Ireland
Rally baseSligo, Ireland
Dates run30 January – 1 February 2009
Stages19 (366.94 km; 228.01 miles)
Stage surfaceTarmac/Mud
Overall distance1,407.68 km (874.69 miles)
Overall winnerFrance Sébastien Loeb
France Citroën Total World Rally Team
Crews36 at start, 28 at finish


The rally returned after a year's absence as to hold the opening round of the World Rally Championship after the Monte Carlo Rally was absent on the year's calendar due to the FIA's Round Rotation calendar system. This happens every two years, so the rally was out for 2010 in favour of Monte Carlo resuming its traditional place as the season opener, but returned in 2011 in the same position.[1]

World Rally ChampionshipEdit

Sébastien Loeb, winner of Rally Ireland for the second time.

During Friday, heavy rain dominated the weekend and drivers found it difficult to compete in this kind of torrential weather, also mud became a feature, especially on broken tarmac roads. But Sébastien Loeb took the win second time in the row with Dani Sordo sealing a Citroën 1–2, two events in succession since the inaugural Rally Ireland held in 2007. Mikko Hirvonen once again settled for third place against the Citroën's tarmac wizards, with 2:07.8 minutes behind Loeb. Norway's Henning Solberg was the only of the Solberg brothers present after the no-show of 2003 WRC Champion Petter Solberg. He finished fourth, his best result on tarmac, but he was almost beaten by Citroën's newbie Chris Atkinson who finished in fifth overall despite some big scary moments, including hitting a telegraph pole on Leg 1 and spinning on Stage 18. Sébastien Ogier finished in sixth ahead of Matthew Wilson in a tight battle, while Khalid al-Qassimi became the first Arab rally driver since 1993 by compatriot Mohammed Bin Sulayem.[2] But some drivers such as Jari Matti Latvala, who leads after Stage 1 broke his drive shaft after a puncture on two wheels, Ford's new driver Urmo Aava who leads after Stages 2 and 3, slid off the road and crashing without heavy impact at the Aughnasheelan Stage 6, and Conrad Rautenbach slid off at Stage 9 at Sloughan Glen and got his Citroën C4 deeply stuck at the mud, were all able to restart under the SuperRally rules to finish 10th by Aava, 14th by Latvala, and Rautenbach crossed the line in 18th place, and all of them score manufacturer's points for their respective teams.

Junior World Rally ChampionshipEdit

The JWRC drivers suffered in this torrential weather as well in the rally during the course of the weekend as eight JWRC drivers competed. Aaron Burkart who switch from his longtime associates Citroën to Suzuki this year was confident of the decision,[3] just won his first JWRC rally in his debut with the team, ahead of the Czech driver Martin Prokop, unlike Burkart stayed with Citroën. While a distant third place for Italian Suzuki driver Simone Bertolotti, who previously drove for Renault. But worst thing happened that Dutchman Hans Weijs jr. who crash heavily at Stage 14 at Tempo under heavy rain that cause to stop some times by rally drivers such as Yoann Bonato and countryman Kevin Abbring, both had activated the SuperRally rules after retiring at Leg 1, had to start their runs all over again because of the incident, but both he and his co-driver were uninjured and the car was not badly damaged.


Pos. Driver Co-driver Car Time Difference Points
1.   Sébastien Loeb   Daniel Elena Citroën C4 WRC 2:48:25.7 10
2.   Dani Sordo   Marc Marti Citroën C4 WRC 2:49:53.6 +1:27.9 8
3.   Mikko Hirvonen   Jarmo Lehtinen Ford Focus RS WRC 08 2:50:33.5 +2:07.8 6
4.   Henning Solberg   Cato Menkerud Ford Focus RS WRC 08 2:54:58.1 +6:32.4 5
5.   Chris Atkinson   Stéphane Prévot Citroën C4 WRC 2:56:17.6 +7:51.9 4
6.   Sébastien Ogier   Julien Ingrassia Citroën C4 WRC 2:59:09.7 +10:44.0 3
7.   Matthew Wilson   Scott Martin Ford Focus RS WRC 08 2:59:49.5 +11:23.8 2
8.   Khalid al-Qassimi   Michael Orr Ford Focus RS WRC 08 3:02:33.6 +14:07.9 1
1. (16.)   Aaron Burkart   Michael Kölbach Suzuki Swift S1600 3:16:41.5 10
2. (17.)   Martin Prokop   Jan Tománek Citroën C2 S1600 3:17:28.8 +47.3 8
3. (19.)   Simone Bertolotti   Luca Celestini Suzuki Swift S1600 3:25:41.6 +9:00.1 6
4. (20.)   Yoann Bonato   Benjamin Boulloud Suzuki Swift S1600 3:29:47.7 +13:06.2 5
5. (22.)   Kevin Abbring   Erwin Mombaerts Renault Clio S1600 3:34:19.5 +17:38.0 4
6. (25.)   Luca Griotti   Corrado Bonato Renault Clio S1600 3:43:49.9 +27:08.4 3

Special stagesEdit

Day Stage Time (GMT) Name Length Winner Time Avg. spd. Rally leader
(30 JAN)
SS1 08:13   Glenboy 1 22.25 km   Jari-Matti Latvala 12:44.0 104.8 km/h   Jari-Matti Latvala
SS2 09:01   Cavan 1 15.09 km   Sébastien Loeb 8:31.5 106.2 km/h   Urmo Aava
SS3 09:42   Aughnasheelan 1 25.19 km   Sébastien Loeb 14:35.2 103.6 km/h
SS4 13:02   Glenboy 2 22.25 km   Sébastien Loeb 11:37.4 114.9 km/h   Sébastien Loeb
SS5 13:50   Cavan 2 15.09 km   Sébastien Loeb 7:40.5 118.0 km/h
SS6 14:31   Aughnasheelan 2 25.19 km   Sébastien Loeb 13:44.6 110.0 km/h
SS7 18:54   Murley 24.70 km Stage cancelled
SS8 19:39   Fardross 14.77 km Stage cancelled
(31 JAN)
SS9 08:13   Sloughan Glen 1 27.76 km   Sébastien Loeb 14:43.3 113.1 km/h
SS10 09:06   Ballinamallard 1 25.46 km   Sébastien Loeb 13:02.1 117.2 km/h
SS11 09:49   Tempo 1 13.46 km   Sébastien Loeb 7:33.1 106.9 km/h
SS12 13:57   Sloughan Glen 2 27.76 km   Mikko Hirvonen 14:33.9 114.4 km/h
SS13 14:50   Ballinamallard 2 25.46 km   Sébastien Loeb 12:51.4 118.8 km/h
SS14 15:33   Tempo 2 13.46 km   Sébastien Loeb 7:30.1 107.7 km/h
(1 FEB)
SS15 08:35   Geevagh 11.48 km   Mikko Hirvonen 6:11.3 111.3 km/h
SS16 09:00   Arigna 10.88 km   Sébastien Loeb 6:03.6 107.7 km/h
SS17 09:51   Lough Gill 13.51 km   Mikko Hirvonen 6:27.0 125.7 km/h
SS18 12:09   Donegal Bay 14.47 km   Mikko Hirvonen 8:09.7 106.4 km/h
SS19 13:10   Donegal Town 1.50 km   Mikko Hirvonen 1:08.1 79.3 km/h

Championship standings after the eventEdit

Drivers' championshipEdit

Pos Driver IRL
1   Sébastien Loeb 1 10
2   Dani Sordo 2 8
3   Mikko Hirvonen 3 6
4   Henning Solberg 4 5
5   Chris Atkinson 5 4
6   Sébastien Ogier 6 3
7   Matthew Wilson 7 2
8   Khalid al-Qassimi 8 1
Pos Driver IRL
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Black Excluded (EX)
Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Cancelled (C)
Blank Withdrew entry from
the event (WD)

Manufacturers' championshipEdit

Rank Driver Event Total
1   Citroën Total World Rally Team 18 18
2   BP Ford World Rally Team 8 8
  Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team 8 8
4   Citroën Junior Team 5 5


  1. ^ "2009 WRC calendars finalised". WRC. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2008-11-06.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Loeb wins Rally Ireland". Rally Ireland. 2009-02-03. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  3. ^ "Burkart confident after Suzuki switch". 3 February 2009. Archived from the original on 17 January 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009.

External linksEdit