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Peugeot UK's Kris Meeke has won the 2009 Rallye Sanremo to become this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion.

Not since Paddy Hopkirk has a rally driver from Northern Ireland lifted such a prestigious global accolade and things can only continue to go from strength to strength for Meeke.

The Ulsterman, co-driven by Paul Nagle, was always in the hunt to win Sanremo from the start of the rally, but he really got into his stride today by recording 3 fastest times of the legs's 5 stages. It was an incredible achievement to beat the local Italian drivers at home on an event where they were clear favourites to win.

Meeke can now expect a huge homecoming welcome on next weekend's Colin McRae Stages and he will also receive an even greater reception when he returns to contest the final IRC round on November's Rally of Scotland.

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