09 Dec 07
The 2007 FIA World Rally Champions were officially crowned at the annual Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile award ceremony in Monaco last Friday, December 7th.
Citroen's Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena collected their fourth consecutive world rally trophy after securing the drivers' title in Wales Rally GB against rivals Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen.
"Winning a fourth title is simply great. This one has been really tough to clinch but we did it in the end. In my personal rankings I still think the first one has a special flavour, but this would come second if I had to choose. The competition was extreme with Marcus and I really had to push all year round to make it happen," said Loeb.
"Above all I am also very pleased for this title for the Citroën team, which has proven competitiveness and performance again, and with a new car. But especially so for Guy Fréquelin, our boss, who is retiring at the end of the month. Daniel and myself want to say thank you very much for everything he did for us and the team," he added.
Meanwhile, Ford was presented with their second-consecutive world rally championship manufacturers' trophy which was secured in Rally Ireland last month. The trophy was collected by Ford TeamRS director Jost Capito and BP-Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson.
"To win the FIA World Rally Championship, the toughest competition for production-based cars, for a second consecutive season is an achievement of which we are rightly proud. I have attended several WRC events this year and seen for myself the blood, sweat and tears that go into being successful," said John Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford of Europe.
"Winning a title in the WRC demands so many attributes - skill, discipline, communication to name but a few. They all come together under one word - teamwork - and I'm proud of how effectively so many people have united to deliver a second world title and in so doing we have added another memorable chapter to Ford's great Motorsport history."
Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen were also honoured after finishing second and third respectively in the drivers' championship. Other rally drivers awarded were PG Andersson, winner of the FIA Junior Rally Championship and Toshi Arai, 2007's Production car World Rally Champion.