New world champions Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja were crowned during a glittering FIA prizegiving ceremony in Paris on Friday night.
The Estonians, who ended 15 years of French domination by claiming their maiden world titles with Toyota Gazoo Racing, were honoured alongside champions from other disciplines during the ceremony at the Carrousel du Louvre.
“When you’ve been targeting something like this for a long, long time, and then you actually achieve it, you feel a kind of relief. In the beginning, it was a dream, and for the last couple of years we’ve been close, but for different reasons, we’ve not managed to be the winners,” said Tänak.
“Now that we’ve finally done it, it feels like I’ve lost a weight from my shoulders. It’s not been the easiest journey, I’ve been quite literally through the water and fire, but to achieve the title after all these battles, it tastes even better,” added Tänak, who won six of the 13 rounds.
Also taking to the FIA stage were Thierry Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, who finished runners-up for the fourth consecutive season and the fifth in total. Six-time champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia were honoured for finishing third.
Hyundai Motorsport received the manufacturers’ trophy after securing the title for the first time. Attending the event were president Scott Noh and team director Andrea Adamo.
“It is the realisation of many years of hard work by our team in Alzenau, which has culminated this season in our first-ever title in WRC. It is very humbling to have our efforts and results acknowledged alongside the very best in the motorsport community on a night of celebration,” said Adamo.
Also honoured were WRC 2 Pro champions Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen and their Skoda Motorsport team, winners of the category’s manufacturers’ title.
WRC 2 winners Pierre-Louis Loubet and Vincent Landais and Junior WRC winners Jan Solans and Mauro Barreiro (below) also received their trophies.
Photographs by DPPI.