Citroen's Martin Prokop has described his success in securing the 2009 Junior World Rally Championship title as the 'biggest moment' in his sporting career.
Prokop, who made his debut in the Junior World Rally Championship back in 2005, clinched the crown on Sunday following a dominant drive to victory in Jyväskylä. Indeed the 26-year-old led from start-to-finish and eventually took the spoils by almost a minute in his Czech National Team-run Citroen C2 S1600.
It was his ninth win in total in the J-WRC and he now joins an elite group, which includes the likes of Sebastien Loeb (2001), Per-Gunnar Andersson (2004 and 2007), Dani Sordo (2006) and Sebastien Ogier (2008), who have all won the Junior title before.
"This is the biggest moment in my sporting career," Prokop reflected after giving Citroen's its fifth J-WRC title and its second in succession with the C2 S16000. "I've been doing the J-WRC for five years, and we have been very close to winning it in the past. In fact, last year we were ready to win the title, but failed because of some mistakes and some problems with the car.
"This year we expected it to be a hard fight, but Michal [Kosciuszko - my main rival] made a mistake in Poland and so for me there was a chance to do it here and where better than to win than in Finland and be World champion.
"We have had absolutely no problems this season, I had good experience of all the rallies, I had confidence with the car and everything just went right.
"Of course the year has not finished yet and we want to do well in Spain, but I am very happy to be champion."
Speaking in the post-event press conference, Prokop added that he was very relieved to have finally taken the title, especially as he was third in 2007 and 2008.
"I had previously thought after coming close and trying for so long that it would be impossible for me to win it," Prokop continued. "But it has been a great experience here for me and we were not ready to be champions so early in the middle of the summer!
"This year we did a very good job on every rally. In Sardinia we had a couple of problems, but we were helped by everybody to keep on fighting, the same in Cyprus. We have so much experience and that made me very confident.