MONTE CARLO - Seven-time world champion Sebastien Ogier said his 50th world rally win which secured a record eighth Monte Carlo rally triumph on Sunday was "priceless".
The 37-year-old Frenchman, along with co-pilot Julien Ingrassia, mastered snow and ice on the final leg in the mountains above Monaco to head a Toyota Yaris 1-2, finishing 32.6 seconds clear of team-mate Elfyn Evans.
"If I could have one record, it's this one I would have signed up for with both hands," Ogier said.
"It's at Monte Carlo where I discovered rally, that I had this dream of doing this one day, it's the one that counts the most. Victory here has no price.
"It's also my father's birthday so it's a nice gift for him. It's a great start to the season," he added.
Defending champion Thierry Neuville was third, a further 40.9 sec off the pace in his Hyundai i20.
Ogier, from the nearby town of Gap, pipped Evans two months on from edging the Welshman to last season's overall title.
"Seb was really strong, it's really hard to beat him," Evans said.
"Unfortunately second place is the best we could have claimed this weekend, but it's an excellent start for the team," he added.
In winning the 89th edition of the Monte Carlo rally, held with no fans in accordance to coronavirus protocols, Ogier outdid compatriot Sebastien Loeb, the nine-time world champion who won the rally seven times.
The next race of the season, in Finland, starts on February 26.