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  Home > Seasons > Season 2007
Loeb equals Makinen
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When Tommi Makinen said in 1999 that it will take some time before anyone would win four championships in row, he or anyone else hardly imagined it would only take eight years for that to happen. Loeb himself admitted that this was hardest fought title for him and even a brief glimpse on championship table confirms that. Despite the fact that Loeb's winning margin over Gronholm was slightly bigger than in 2006, Gronholm led the race for most of the year.

There were numerous incidents along the year where either driver lost points vital for the championship fight. Loeb had disastrous rally in Norway, finishing only 14th, went off the road and retired in Sardinia and again in Japan. Gronholm lost points in Portugal for Ford's too thin rear windows, went off and very nearly retired in Deutschland, went off both in Japan where he was lucky to have Loeb retire too but also in Ireland where Loeb finally went ahead in the championship.

Towards the end of the season, speculations about Gronholm's future go from hot to boiling until finally he announces retirement in middle of September. Immediately after that the next topic for speculation is the name of his successor - which Malcolm Wilson refuses to reveal until mid-December. His team mate Mikko Hirvonen matured during the year, even so that after final rally he trailed Gronholm only by 13 points. Citroen's Daniel Sordo had less experience to begin with and didn't quite match Mikko during the year, making that little crucial difference that saw Ford win the makes title again.

Behind Citroen and Ford, Subaru struggled with their uncompetitive car and had their hands full with fight against Ford's B-team, the Eddie Stobart Motorsport.

Changes
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The biggest changes took place in the calendar, with introduction of Norway and Ireland as completely new events and return of Portugal - though with new location and route - while Cyprus and Turkey were dropped and Australia was on sabbatical following loss of government backing.

Another new feature was event pairing, running two events on close geographical proximity within one week of one another. These pairs were Sweden - Norway and Catalunya - Corsica. In technical terms, there were other pairings too as engines and certain other components were sealed and had to last over the two paired events.

New cars
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The big news of the season was the debut of Citroen's long-awaited and -developed new C4 WRC in Monte Carlo where new car was exceptionally quick, reliable and won right out of the box.

Other new cars were Subaru's seasonal evolution of the Impreza and while new version wasn't really any better, it offered some hope for the Petter and Chris. Ford fielded a new evolution of the Focus in Finland, expecting and exclaiming it to be much improved on tarmac but while car was good, it wasn't match to Citroens on black stuff.

There was one other entirely new car too, the Suzuki SX4 WRC. It took part in two rallies in the latter part of the season and ran into more troubles than all teams combined. At the time of writing, there is a lot of pessimism in the air about the continuity of the Suzuki WRC involvement.

2007 champions
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2007 FIA World Rally Champions, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  no new winners
first drivers' point
  J. Hanninen (Sardinia)
  U. Aava (Finland)
  M. Ostberg (Finland)
  F. Villagra (Japan)
  K. Taguchi (Japan)
  G. Wilks (Ireland)
first stage win
  M. Ostberg (Sweden)
  J. Latvala (Norway)
  A. Araujo (Japan)
  F. Villagra (Japan)
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