Sebastien Loeb believes he cannot be considered the greatest rally driver in history, despite breaking the record for number of all-time WRC victories in last weekend's Rally Japan.
Loeb won a thrilling battle to hold off Marcus Gronholm on the final day to take his 27th career win, one more than fellow double champion Carlos Sainz.
However, Loeb admits he has been lucky to achieve this record so quickly.
"It is finally done! Nobody will ever ask me again when I will beat the record of most victories in the world," Loeb told his official website after his Japanese victory.
"It really pleases me to get the record. It is great to be the driver who holds the greatest number of victories in the WRC, even if it was not my first motivation. The characteristic of a record is that it has to be beaten.
"But I cannot be compared with the former holders of the record because it was another time for them. I have 27 victories, but in my eyes, that does not mean that I am better than other drivers, like Carlos Sainz, who had 26.
"I also had the chance to be in a very good team immediately with Citroen and in a good car, continually competitive for four years."
Loeb said he was in fact happier to win the Rally Japan, one of the rallies he had never won, than break the record.
"I had to fight to take this victory," he added. "Especially with the decisive final stages, where we did not have any more intermediate times, because the splits in the car did not work.
"I knew that we had gained only at the arrival of the final special stage by seeing the time of Gronholm on the display board.
"Since the beginning of the year, we often had fights with Marcus, but most of the time they have always been decided on Saturday.
"But when you dispute the lead until the end and you only win by five seconds, it makes the victory better."
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