Gallery: Season review

This might have been Sebastien Loeb's season, but there was plenty of indication that he might not have had it all his own way had circumstances played differently in 2004. Four other drivers won rallies during the campaign with Petter Solberg pulling off a mid-season hat-trick

Gallery: Season review

Loeb and his Citroen Xsara proved fast on every surface and his consistency ensured that he only recorded two DNFs, and other than that never finished lower than fourth.

But there were occasions during 2004 when the Frenchman simply could not match the speed of others. On loose surfaces in particular, Solberg and his Pirelli-shod Impreza was imperious, but a poor start to the season and a huge accident in Germany left him with too much catching up to do.

Likewise a massive crash in Mexico hit Markko Martin's title challenge mid-season, but the Estonian made full use of his Ford Focus WRC's sealed-surface speed to record back-to-back victories in Italy and Spain.

Marcus Gronholm never gave up in the fast but problematic Peugeot 307 while Carlos Sainz set the record for the most career wins with a final 26th victory in Argentina.

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