NEWLY crowned World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier signed off the season in style with victory at the Wales Rally GB.
The frenchman capped off a sensational 2014 with another driving masterclass throughout the weekend, eventually finishing 37.6 seconds clear of his nearest rival, Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen.
Ogier said: “I’m delighted with this victory – that was the target.
“We started by going flat-out on Friday, after that, it became a case of controlling everything, but since this was a proper Wales Rally GB with tricky conditions over all three days, there was never any room to relax.
“I had to fight against myself a bit, because even with a good lead, it’s still far from easy and the key was to avoid all the potential pitfalls. There’s no doubt that this is absolutely the best way to finish the season.”
In addition to the 30-year-old’s stunning victory, there was also a brilliant showing from local favourite Elfyn Evans.
Although tyre trouble prevented the Citroen man from achieving a place on the podium, Evans still managed to finish a credible fifth position, continuing his good form in the second half of the season.
“At the beginning of the event, we would definitely have taken this result,” Evans said.
“The overall performance over the weekend was quite strong, but there were areas where we could have been better.
“This year has been a solid start to my WRC career – a bit up-and-down for sure, but we have an excellent bank of experience to build upon in the future.
"Next year will be the most important one for me to really prove that we can compete at the highest level."
British competitors also celebrated success in the support categories, with Matthew Wilson just pipping Welshman Tom Cave to third in WRC 2 behind class winner Jari Ketomaa.
There was also a creditable performance from cricketing legend Graeme Swann, who made it to the finish on his rallying debut to finish 45th in the National contest.