Sebastien Loeb's success in wrapping up the World Rally Championship title for an eighth successive season in Wales has seen the Frenchman move ahead of Michael Schumacher in the list of FIA World Championship title winners.
ace secured the title when his only rival Mikko Hirvonen
was forced to retire in the Welsh forests, meaning Loeb was champion once again even though he too was then forced out of the event after a road collision on the final day.
Heading into the season finale, Loeb had been level with F1 legend Schumacher on seven titles, but he now stands alone as the most successful driver in history when it comes to FIA World titles.
“For sure I'm proud to become the most successful driver in motorsport and feel very happy,” Loeb said. “We were equal until this week with Michael Schumacher who had seven – now we have eight. I don't really want to compare different branches of the sport but it's very special. I never thought I'd achieve this when I started my career.
“I started rallying for passion and I feel the same sensation when I'm in the car. I still enjoy rallies – that's my main motivation. It will not change my life if it's seven titles, eight titles or nine. I enjoy the moment and like what I do.
“We have won eight titles in a row and I can only have the goal to win another title next year. There is no precise plan for the day I stop driving – at the moment the next goal is the next title. If I can make it 10 titles I hope I can but I don't know. I take everything year after year. For now my goal is next year; after that I will see.”
While Loeb is now top of the list of FIA World Champions, he isn't the only WRC driver to feature highly – with Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen having both won the crown on four occasions.