Sebastien Ogier took a 'dream' win on the Rallye Monte Carlo last night following a faultless performance over the three-days of the opening round in the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Ogier, who only took in the event having been selected to drive for the 'BFGoodrich Drivers' Team', ended the first day in fourth in his Kronos-run Peugeot 207 Super 2000.
He then inherited the lead from Juho Hanninen in the final stage on Thursday, before consolidating his advantage on Friday morning and emerging from the celebrated 'Nuit du Turini' night-time loop, high in the Alps, with a fairy tale victory.
It was a brilliant result, especially as not only was it his first outing on the legendary Monte, but it was also his first in a Super 2000 car.
Speaking at the finish, the 2008 Junior World Rally champion was quick to salute BFGoodrich - and their initiative, which is run on five rounds of the IRC and allows different local drivers to compete on their home event.
"This is a dream come true for me, and I can't imagine that I will ever forget it! A fortnight ago, I had no idea I would be taking apart in this year's Rallye Monte-Carlo,” he reflected. “Had it not been for the opportunity the BFGoodrich Drivers Team programme gave me, I would never had been able to line up for the start of what has got to be the sport's most prestigious showpiece.
“I want to say a big thank you to BFGoodrich and to all those who votes enabled him to line up for the start of this legendary event in such a competitive car
“This year's Monte was marked by extremely difficult, varied and treacherous conditions, and featured the cocktail of rain, ice and snow that has long been the hallmark of this unique event.
“Tyre choices were decisive but never straightforward, and I would like to thank all BFGoodrich's technical staff for the impeccable advice they gave me from start to finish."