Mitsubishi driver Araujo has put together a stunning selection of results, including three wins, two second places and a third place in this year’s P-WRC. And when Patrik Flodin smashed a wheel on his Subaru Impreza on the second day in Wales, the title was all-but Araujo’s. Twenty-four hours later and the deal was done.
And while the outright class victory in Wales belonged to Mitsubishi driver Ott Tanak, it was a jubilant Araujo who lifted the silverware in Cardiff for the second time.
“I am so happy again!” said the Portuguese. “It’s just incredible to have won the title again. It’s been a very good year for me and, of course, it’s an amazing feeling to win. This was not an easy rally at all, it was difficult all of the time because we didn’t know about the grip and I wasn’t feeling so comfortable with the road conditions early on.
“Our only problem was with the turbo at the end of the first day, after that it’s been very good.”
Araujo admitted he had been concerned about Flodin’s pace through the early part of the rally. “It was difficult watching him set this pace,” said Araujo. “I had to drive my own rally and concentrate on the plan I had made. All of the time I said the rally was for Flodin, but I had to concentrate on the championship. I have done that now.”
Flodin, who had also scored three wins this season, returned under Superally regulations today and the fifth place he took is good enough for him to maintain the runners-up spot in the championship.
Kiwi Hayden Paddon was third in the standings after a tricky final round for the Pirelli Star Driver. His hopes of signing off his year in the FIA’s young driver development scheme were dashed when he suffered suspension failure on the opening day.
Araujo admitted he hoped his second world title would be enough to open more doors for him next season. “The main thing I want is to stay in the world championship,” he said.
“That’s the most important for me. If it is going to be in a World Rally Car, S2000 or Production Car, I don’t know. The main thing is that we are here. From the sporting side I have to some doors open, but I have to wait and see what is possible with my sponsors. I want to check everything that can happen from now.”
Follow this link to see the final points classification in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship.
“The main thing I want is to stay in the world championship. That’s the most important for me."