Now it’s sure: Armindo Araujo & Miguel Ramalho (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Pirelli by RalliArt Italy) are the winner of the 2009 Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC). The Portuguese crew has gained the crucial points early in September in the Rally of Australia, but just now is arrived the final confirmation with the FIA decision about the result of the Acropolis Rally. Nasser Al-Attyah – found with engine irregularities by the Technical Stewards – remains out of the points in that rally. So, with the FIA outcome the title is confirmed because the Qatar’s driver can’t balance in the last round of the championship the 11 points from the RalliArt Italy’s crew.

It’s a fantastic satisfaction for Armindo Araujo, Miguel Ramalho and their supporter Grupo MCA, Galp, TMN, Mitsubishi, Camara Municipal de Santo Tirso and Grupo Sa. And also for RalliArt Italy and Mitsubishi Motor Italia – a company of the Gruppo Koelliker – and their dealers.

A victory coupled with the success of the Pirelli Star Driver (PSD) project. In the P-Wrc the RalliArt Italy has obtained the best from the Lancer Evo IX. In the PSD the RalliArt Italy has realized a big jump up with the new Lancer Evolutions and their five young and promising drivers from all the world. The 2009 is sure the top of the 11 years of RalliArt Italy operations, always supported by the fantastic Pirelli tyres.

The season of Armindo Araujo & Miguel Ramalho was quite perfect: six WRC rallies, six hard fights with strong competitors in always demanding tracks. And never out-of-race. Starting with a 4th place in Norway followed by a 2nd place in Cyprus. The success in Portugal meant the 1st position in the P-WRC standings overtaking Patrick Sandell (Skoda). The ‘pass’ in the Rally of Argentina meant the picking up of Nasse Al-Attiyah (Subaru). The Qatar’s driver success in the Rally d’Italia, where Armindo was 3rd, put him at the top of the standings. In the following Rally Acropolis Al-Attiyah was 2nd and Araujo 3rd. But after the race the Stewards found engine irregularities in the Subaru car and Al-Attiyah excluded. His Barwa Team made appeal. At that moment RalliArt Italy decided to anticipate the last race for Armindo: early in September in the Rally of Australia instead of the the end of October in the Rally of Wales. The 5 Australian’s points of the 4th position meant 11 points lead: impossible to balance.

2009 P-WRC Standings (after round 7 of 8*):

1. Armindo Araujo-Miguel Ramalho (Lancer Evo IX Pirelli RalliArt Italy) 42 points;

2. Al-Attiyah 31; 3. Prokop 29; 4. Sandell 28; 4. Brynildsen 22; 5.; 6. Arai 17; 7. Nieksans 11; 8. Athanassoulas 10; 9. Flodin 9; 10. Linari, Ligato, Mason 8; 13. Sauvan, Crocker 6; 15. Pavlides, Mayer, Tapper 5; 18. Sousa, Taylor 4; 20. Tarabus, Timotheu 3; 22. Gill 2; 23. Semerad 1.



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