2016 British Touring Car Championship runner-up Sam Tordoff says he felt he extracted everything he could have at Brands Hatch despite seeing the title slip away from him in heart-breaking fashion.
The West Surrey Racing driver went into the deciding race with a slender two point advantage over Gordon Shedden but was powerless in keeping the now back-to-back champion behind his BMW 125i M Sport.
Tordoff went onto to finish the 30th race of year in fifth while third place was enough to hand Shedden his third title in the series.
Dignified in defeat, the 27-year old said he was simply beaten by the faster man on the day.
"We've had a great year. We've really motored onto the next level and we finished second in the championship by a handful of points. I'm really happy with how it's gone," said Tordoff.
"Yes I'm gutted we didn't win but we got beaten by a better man on the day. I don't think today [Sunday] could have gone any better for us. We struggled for pace. That was quite obvious to see in race three.
"A tenth and two fifth places was the maximum. I didn't leave anything on the table. There was nothing I would have done differently this weekend and I felt we extracted all that we could have."
Having dipped no lower than second in the standings since leading the championship following Oulton Park, Tordoff has won many plaudits for his 2016 campaign.
Despite at times having to navigate tricky waters, Tordoff has been rock solid throughout, during what has been a highly unpredictable season.
"In years gone by I've done silly things and had DNF's and that's probably hurt me as far as a championship run was concerned. This year we've kept out of trouble, kept our head down and been fast in qualifying when we needed to be," Tordoff continued.
"We've also dealt well with the 75 kilos of ballast because we've arrived in many weekends will full ballast and I think I out-qualified my team mates on just about every single occasion.
"I feel like I've coped with the pressure remarkably well because we led the championship for so long. We've been hunted by past champions. Gordon is no mug. He's won the championship three times now so he's a good as it gets quite frankly."
Despite his future in the series remaining under some question, Tordoff says his all so near run to the title has proven 'he belongs at this level'.
Tordoff told ITV, as part of their pre-race coverage, that he could leave the BTCC at the end of this season but remained tight lipped over what his 2017 plans will entail.
"I felt like I gave a very good account of myself and I can use that experience for the future. If I arrive in this position next year there'll be less attention because people will expect it a bit more.
"Until you've reached the top step you can always say you need to go back and give it another shot. If this is the end of my touring car career then I'm really happy.
"In four years we've done a lot more than most other drivers have achieved. We've done this for fours year now and the worst I've finished in the championship is seventh. I think I belong at this level and hopefully today will have proved that."