Citroen's Sebastien Loeb took in his final ever WRC event in France last weekend, but it all ended rather inauspiciously, with the Frenchman crashing out on the opening stage on Sunday while battling for the victory.
Loeb headed into the final leg embroiled in a four-way fight for the victory, just five seconds off the overnight leader, Jari-Matti Latvala.
However, at the start of SS15, the 14.60 km Vignoble de Cleebourg 1 test, he rolled his Citroen DS3 WRC car and finished up upside down in a ditch.
“I started [SS15] flat out because it was a close situation. We were fourth, fighting for the victory, but I lost the rear in a fast right corner, and then we had a spin and I finished in the ditch - and that was the race over," he told the official WRC site, wrc.com
"For sure I would have preferred to have finished my last rally here, but it didn't go according to the plan."
“I'm not happy about the situation but I was not driving for the championship so I don't need the points,” he continued. “I do feel sorry for the spectators and for the team though. There are a lot of spectators waiting in the stages.
“For me it's okay, I have some new plans for the future.
“I would have preferred to finish on the podium here on my last rally, but that's life. My overriding memory will still be of what a great scrap we had with Dani [Sordo], Jari-Matti [Latvala] and Sébastien [Ogier],” added the nine-time World Rally Champion, who will switch to circuit racing in 2014, competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship
Citroen boss Yves Matton meanwhile was equally philosophical - although the result in Alsace means the French team now has little chance of winning the Manufacturers' title, given the gap to Volkswagen is now 80 points and just 86 are left up for grabs in Spain and GB.
“The points scored by the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT this weekend leave us with only a very slim chance of winning the Manufacturers' title,” Matton added. “But we can have no regrets. The gaps were so small that we had to push to try and win the rally.
“Seb and Daniel [Elena] gave it their best shot – it just didn't work out for them. But that shouldn't overshadow what has been an incredible career. Thanks to the many tens of thousands of fans who turned up to pay tribute to our champions. We'll all remember the enthusiasm and the excitement surrounding the team at this Rallye de France for a long time to come.”