Having been given the chance to join the Uspenskiy Rally Tecnica outfit for the final round of the World Rally Championship, Patrik Flodin enjoyed a winning end to 2008 with the Production WRC win on Wales Rally GB.
The victory was Flodin's fourth Group N win but first in the PWRC, while it also signalled the first win in WRC competition for the new Subaru Impreza WRX STi.
Flodin started the event in cautious mood with icy conditions greeting the crews on a truncated day one but he ended the opening day running in second place and within striking distance of the leader.
Taking the lead on day two, Flodin extended his advantage only for an error on the final morning to throw away his lead and leave him in a close battle for victory with Patrick Sandell.
Despite a scare when the centre differential developed a problem, Flodin was able to pull away in the penultimate test and then secured the win when Sandell retired on the final stage of the event.
“I'm enormously happy!” he said. “We had only one real problem when a pipe on the left rear brake got damaged on a road section, but we managed to fix it in time and finish the rally. It's a perfect team, and this is a great car!
“I really enjoyed the fight, and it was one of the most important victories for me, so I want to thank the URT team and the TEIN suspension specialists for providing me with such an opportunity.”
Flodin also secured leading honours in the final round of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship.