CitroŽn's Sťbastien Loeb staked his claim to a place in rallying's record books this weekend by clinching an unprecedented fifth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship.
Third place for Loeb's CitroŽn C4 WRC in Rally Japan, the penultimate round of the 2008 season, was enough to put the title out of reach of his rivals. Loeb and his co-driver, Daniel Elena, now hold a unique record, as their five titles eclipse the previous record of four that they shared with Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen.
Sťbastien is now promising to go flat out at the season's finale in three weeks, the Wales Rally GB, to secure the manufacturer's title for CitroŽn alongside his driver's championship.
"It's a fantastic feeling," beamed Loeb. "I really wanted to wrap up the title in Japan to enable us to go into Wales Rally GB with a totally free mind. That made the weekend very long and frustrating. The title just seemed to loom larger after every stage, but it was well worth the wait in the end."
Loeb and Elena have dominated world rallying since 2004, initially with the CitroŽn Xsara and, more recently, with the all-conquering C4. The pair has scored 10 wins so far in '08.