A season of consistent performances proved to be the key factor for Armindo Araujo, as he secured his maiden Production World Rally Championship title in 2009.
Having set himself a three-year target to win the title, the Portuguese driver duly delivered in his third year of PWRC competition to take the crown after a championship battle that swung one way and then the other.
Araujo missed out on a first win in Cyprus when gearbox issues on the final stage handed victory to Patrik Sandell but he bounced back to take an emotional win in his home event. The Ralliart Italia driver then saw his advantage overhauled by Nasser Al-Attiyah before the Arab driver was thrown off out the results of the Acropolis Rally for a technical issue.
That left Araujo out front going into his final nominated event of the year in Australia where he benefitted from a last stage retirement for Toshi Arai to secure the points needed to put him out of reach of his rivals – pending an appeal by Al-Attiyah into his Greek exclusion.
When Al-Attiyah failed to win back his second place, Araujo was confirmed as champion and celebrated with a top ten overall finish on the season finale in Wales, where he wasn't eligible to score PWRC points.
No decision has yet been taken on his plans for 2010, but Araujo's title winning campaign was enough to see you vote him ninth in the poll to find the top WRC driver of the year.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
6 of 8 (PWRC)
NB: Podiums tally doe not include victories