Sebastien Ogier has conceded WRC rival Ott Tanak pushed him to the limits of his ability for victory in Wales Rally GB as he claimed a fourth straight victory at the event while Volkswagen Motorsport wrapped up the manufacturers' crown with a round to spare.
The already-crowned champion stormed into the lead at the end of the opening stage and never relinquished top spot despite main rival Tanak claiming more stage wins than the French driver at the British round.
As a result and with a relatively slender victory margin of just 10.2 seconds at the finish line, Ogier admitted he was on the edge throughout the event but was delighted to lead Volkswagen to a fourth consecutive manufacturers' crown, coupled with Jari-Matti Latvala's recovery drive to sixth place.
“This victory is fantastic. I am so delighted that we have wrapped up the Manufacturers' title for our fantastic team,” Ogier said. “It was hard work hanging onto our lead in these extremely slippery conditions here in Wales. Ott Tänak put us under a lot of pressure, so Julien and I had to push ourselves to the limit all weekend. But we did it.
“Looking back, we have all been on an incredible journey over the past four years. To have such a run of success is definitely something very special - particularly in motorsport, where so many different factors come into play. I am very happy that I opted for Volkswagen before anyone knew where this WRC adventure would take us.”
Next month Ogier will lead the WRC to the final round Rally Australia as he looks to seal another masterful season with a fifth consecutive victory.