Sebastien Loeb rounded out the World Rally Car era with his eighth win of the 2010 season in the Rally of Great Britain.
The World Rally Champion defeated Petter Solberg by 19.1 seconds in the end, with Solberg also missing out on the runner-up spot in the championship as Jari-Matti Latvala took third from his Ford teammate Mikko Hirvonen on the penultimate stage, giving him enough points to finish second in the standings.
Though Loeb's win was ultimately relatively comfortable, the first half of the rally had seen the Citroen driver, his teammate Sebastien Ogier, Latvala and Solberg covered by just a few seconds in a spectacular lead battle.
Once Latvala had damaged a tire on Friday afternoon and Ogier had crashed on Saturday morning – costing him second in the championship – it came down to just Loeb and Solberg, and despite the 2003 champion's best efforts, Loeb had the speed to pull away today and clinch the final win for the current generation of cars before next year's new rules.
"It was really tough, Petter was going very, very fast at the start of the rally," said Loeb. "He made nearly no mistakes, he's still really fast. I enjoyed it a lot."
After his Friday delay, Latvala steadily gained on Hirvonen, edging into third with one stage to go and wrapping up second in the championship – a satisfying achievement for a man who started the year as number two in his team. Dani Sordo completed the top five for Citroen Junior, not far behind the Fords and several minutes clear of Stobart Ford's Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson.
Kimi Raikkonen (Citroen Junior) had a quiet run to eighth, with Mads Ostberg making it home ninth after another troubled weekend in the Adapta Subaru.
Andreas Mikkelsen and Ott Tanak won the S2000 and Production classes respectively as Xevi Pons and Armindo Araujo took the two titles. Both had looked comfortable for most of the weekend, with Pons' job getting easier still when main rival Jari Ketomaa rolled out of second this morning. Pons finished third behind the impressive Craig Breen.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 3h14m54.0s
2. Petter Solberg Citroen + 19.1s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 1m35.3s
4. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 1m53.3s
5. Dani Sordo Citroen + 2m12.2s
6. Henning Solberg Ford + 6m26.5s
7. Matthew Wilson Ford + 8m37.8s
8. Kimi Raikkonen Citroen + 10m27.9s
9. Mads Ostberg Subaru + 12m13.7s
10. Andreas Mikkelsen Skoda + 14m01.2s