The record books won't tell the true story of the 2006 World Rally Championship. When skimming through the championship standings in years to come, a difference of just one point between the top two drivers will make the season look like a closely fought battle, but that isn't very fair on Sebastien Loeb.
Loeb sealed the title with two rounds still to go, and it could have been earlier. The fact that he missed the last four events of the year and still wrapped up the crown shows that the Frenchman and his Citroen Xsara were a dominant force, and in reality he only had one opponent all year.
It became apparent early on in the year that before each rally there were only ever two men likely of taking the spoils. Loeb and Marcus Gronholm were the only drivers with the experience and the car to challenge for victories, and they made the championship their own, winning between them 15 of the 16 events.