Michele Mouton, the manager of the WRC and president of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission has been awarded the rank of Chevalier of the L?gion d'Honneur by France's President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the surroundings of the Elylsee Palace in Paris, Michele was honoured for her impressive career, not only as the only female driver to have won a round of the WRC - and she went on to win a total of four WRC rallies in the 1980s and finish as vice-champion in the 1982 World Rally Championship, but also for her roles at the FIA and her organisation of the globally renowned Race of Champions.

"It is a great honour when your country recognises what you have achieved," said Mouton. "In the bottom of my heart this medal is for my father who did everything for me, including making the decision I should become a driver rather than a co-driver, because I never even thought of becoming a rally driver!"

FIA President Jean Todt added: "This is a great tribute to Michele's achievements throughout her career; she is an ambassador for our sport and an inspiration to women around the world."