Marc Gene admitted that victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours had been the 'happiest day of my career'.

Teamed with David Brabham and Alex Wurz in the #9 Peugeot, the Ferrari F1 test driver was given the honour of bringing the car to the finish as the French squad secured its first win in the event with the 908 HDi.

Twelve months after Antonio Garcia took a class win with Aston Martin, Gene secured his place in history as the first Spanish overall winner and he admitted that a Le Mans win was the biggest honour of his career.

"I never felt such excitement as in the last lap today," he said. "I was in tears! It is obviously the happiest day of my entire career. This victory is the result of a really hard work for many years.

"I would like to dedicate the victory to my family who has always supported me. I also thank Peugeot for giving me the opportunity to join such great team. It has been a laborious victory, a great result for an excellent teamwork.

"I knew what it was to be in the podium at Circuit de la Sarthe, but it makes such a difference when you are at the top. I am proud to be the first Spaniard who wins this race and I also want to thank our mechanics for the excellent job done during all the weekend.

"With regards to the race, I pushed until the last lap as the difference with car number #8 was never enough to be relaxed. I truly think that the experience has been a key element to win this year after getting the second position in the last edition."

For team-mate Wurz, another man in the Le Mans history books as the event's youngest ever winner back in 1996, there was also delight at the victory.

"What made the difference?" he said. "The fact that we kept on track without picking up any damage. We also had a great team behind us and a phenomenal car. It's a fantastic feeling to have won in France with a French car."