Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier
has said he is feeling relaxed going into Rallye de France-Alsace.
Ogier fell a point short of clinching the 2013 WRC Drivers' title in Australia earlier this month, but given he has an 83 point lead over Thierry Neuville - and there is only a maximum 84 points left available, securing it is now all but a formality.
That means he should just be able to go for it in front of his home fans and in the other two remaining events in Spain and Britain.
“It was a strange weekend [in Australia] because at the end it didn't happen as expected [and we didn't clinch the title]. But to be honest in my head I am quite clear. I think it is done and I don't have the pressure anymore," Ogier said at Rallyday 2013, the UK's Premier Rally Car Show
"I have three rallies to go now and only one point to score. It should be fine. I feel really good. It has been a perfect season until now and I am very pleased with that, especially as it is only the first one for Volkswagen.
“It should be okay. Neuville is a good driver but I don't expect him to win all three remaining rallies and all three power stages!
"I am more relaxed for the end of the season. I just want to score even more victories if I can – especially in France.”
With the Power Stage taking place on the Thursday, Ogier could sow it up then, and even if he doesn't finish in the top-three in SS1, Neuville has to win it to remain in with a mathematical chance.
“It could be a strange feeling to claim the title at the end of stage one on the Thursday, especially when you know after that you have three-days of rallying. You cannot really celebrate it,” Ogier added.
“But [whatever happens in the Power Stage] I just want to enjoy the challenge in France to race the last time against Seb [Loeb] and I am sure Thierry and Dani [Sordo], who are fast on tarmac, will be there as well.
"I will start this rally with only one target, to win. I expect a good battle again and I am really excited,” he concluded.