Sebastien Ogier has admitted it will be 'great feeling' for him to start Rally de Espana next week knowing the 2013 WRC Drivers' title is in the bag - and he thinks it will allow him to be a bit more relaxed and drive even faster.
Ogier heads to Catalunya having taken his seventh win of the season in France, charging back in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC to seal his title triumph in style.
The Frenchman now can't wait for the penultimate round in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship, and while he is aware VW hasn't yet secured the Manufacturers' title, that shouldn't be too difficult, given the 80 point lead over Citroen.
“I'm really looking forward to Rally Spain,” said Ogier. “It goes without saying that it's a great feeling for me to start a rally as World Champion now. Perhaps that will make me a bit more relaxed behind the wheel and allow me to drive faster. In any case, I intend to enjoy it.”
“I really like the Spanish rally,” he added. “It's very challenging because you have to drive on two different surfaces. The fans in Spain are always very enthusiastic and it will be fun to drive in front of them.
“At the same time though, it's important for us to claim the manufacturers' title in Spain as well. Winning both trophies in one year would make it the perfect season for Volkswagen.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito meanwhile agrees that winning the Manufacturers' will be the 'icing on the cake'.
“Seventh place is all we need to claim the world [Manufacturers'] championship title,” he continued, “and if things go as normal, we'll manage that in Spain. It really would be the icing on the cake if we were to achieve this in our debut season – we would never even have dreamed of it at the beginning of the season.
“The whole team will give their all once again to make sure that nothing out of the ordinary happens.
“There is no weak point in our team.
“I'm really proud of that.”