Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier says he is proud and honoured to have joined Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen as a four-time World Rally Champion.
Ogier sealed his fourth title in style on RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de Espana this weekend, taking his fifth victory of the season, and his third in a row.
“Of course it means a lot. It is an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as such big names as Kankkunen and Makinen. I am very proud, very happy,” he said.
“Since the finish, I just read a tweet from Carlos [Sainz]. He was one of the guys five years ago who permit me to join this team. He wrote: 'I told you five years ago this would be a good move.' He was right, it was definitely a good move.
“We have achieved so much together with four titles, it's hard to find the words to describe this emotion.
“We had to fight hard this year, this was one of the hardest to get. It's difficult to say if it's the hardest. But once again we do it in style with the victory. I couldn't be much more happy than that.”
Ogier also went on to pay tribute to Volkswagen - and to dedicate his fourth title to his son, Tim, who was born earlier this year between the events in Sardinia and Poland.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to our team at Volkswagen. Without them, Julien [Ingrassia – my co-driver] and I would not be here today. They do a fantastic job all year and we have had a perfect car all season,” he continued.
“I had great fun at the wheel of the Polo R WRC once again this weekend. The tension ahead of the closing Power Stage was obviously greater than usual, given the fact that we were within touching distance of the title, and bearing in mind the mistake we made last year. But we've done it. Despite the more difficult regulations, and despite the strong opposition.
“I am extremely proud of this title. It is now time to celebrate in style with my team and my wife – and when I get home I can show my young son Tim the trophy that daddy won.
“I dedicate this world championship title to him.”
Asked where this title ranks relative to the other three, he replied: “I was waiting for this question; I don't want to rank them one compared to the other. They all mean a lot and they are all important in my eyes. There are different parameters for them all, but they all make me very happy and proud.
“The first one will always remain special, but this  was a tough season – especially during the summer when we went for a long time with no wins. That was frustrating, but this is a well-deserved title and [as I said] one we will celebrate very hard tonight.”
Meanwhile, looking back on the event itself, Ogier said it wasn't an easy win, especially given the conditions on the opening day and the fact he finished it 17 seconds off Dani Sordo.
He also admitted the Manufacturers' was weighing on his mind after team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala both made mistakes.
“It was tough because Dani was strong like always here. He had a great weekend and started really well on gravel. 17 seconds was tough to catch and as well I was feeling a little under pressure - not me personally because when Andreas [Mikkelsen] went out then we are more or less champion - but there was more pressure for the manufacturers championship coming on my shoulders.
“The feeling though was good in the car, we had no moments this weekend, and when the times are coming like this then there's no reason to slow down. We kept pushing and we kept getting closer and closer to Dani. I'm very happy to get the victory; we have the tarmac grand slam this season.
“But I'm less happy this year that we didn't win on gravel [at least yet]. That's a bit surprising, especially as this is my favourite surface!”