Sebastien Ogier came through to secure the Junior World Rally Championship title in his debut season on the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse at the weekend, his home round in the WRC.
Ogier, who has led the J-WRC standings throughout the year, taking four podiums in total - including wins in Mexico, Jordan and Germany - has dominated in his PH Sport-run Citroen C2 S1600. Indeed he took 50 stage wins in total - more than double that of his nearest rival, Martin Prokop, who clocked up 23.
The Equipe de France FFSA-supported star also ends the season top in the 'Sprinter' standings - and after such an outstanding year, he was awarded the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally Award in recognition of his achievements.
"This morning, we knew that only four stages and 116.26km of competitive action separated us from the title," said Ogier. "I drove even more cautiously than I did on Friday and Saturday, taking care to steer clear of all the rocks and stones, braking early and basically trying to keep out of trouble.
"As on the first two days, driving defensively didn't come easily. It's not much fun when you feel that the car is capable of giving far more and that you can push much harder. But it was vital to stick to safe, reasonable pace and, in the end, it was good experience.
"It's fantastic to have won the title. It's a great reward for all those who believed in us, and most of all the FFSA. It's also fantastic to have won with Citroën. The C2 Super 1600 has been remarkably competitive all year, both on gravel and asphalt, and there couldn't be a better way of thanking everyone at PH Sport for the excellent work they have put in all season."
Nicolas Deschaux, president of the Fédération Francaise du Sport Automobile, the governing body of motorsport in France, meanwhile, added that Ogier's success was not only a perfect reward for their support, but also richly deserved.
"Following Sébastien Ogier's remarkable results in 2007, there was a broad consensus amongst members of the FFSA's Steering Committee at the beginning of the year to provide him with backing this season. Today, we are obviously delighted to have taken that decision," he continued.
"Sébastien has done much more than simply show that he has talent. The way he has improved over the season is clear for everyone to see. Indeed, ever since he finished first in the Rallye Jeunes FFSA operation barely two years ago, his career has been on an upward spiral.
"He has hardly put a foot wrong this year and his outstanding, consistent run has seen him sew up the Junior World Rally Championship crown.
"He joins a list of past winners which includes a certain Sebastien Loeb who was also backed by the FFSA and whose career has simply taken off today. I would like to join Citroën Sport, all the elected members and management staff of the FFSA to salute Sébastien Ogier's exceptional performance and talent."