Despite missing out on a place on the rostrum though, Latvala did still pick up a good haul of points and he achieved his pre-event target of finishing in the top-five on a surface that is far from his favourite.
"I have felt very comfortable here on asphalt," Latvala said. "I have never been as good in the Rally Deutschland as this year. I had to give up third place due to mistakes on Panzerplatte, but we were close to finishing on the podium. I think I don't have to worry about asphalt rallies any more. This gives us confidence for the upcoming events."
Petter Solberg rounded out the top five, recovering well after losing time on Friday with two punctures. The Norwegian had considered withdrawing on Saturday morning to save money for the next WRC round, but his sponsors told him to continue and that perseverance paid dividends.
Indeed while he benefitted from problems that befell his rivals, he set some top times too, winning five stages in his privately run Citroen
C4 WRC car: "This was an important weekend for us," Solberg said. "We had problems in Finland, but we were able to show that we can be fast. The team has done a good job."
Further down the order, Matthew Wilson
managed to re-take sixth this morning in his Stobart
Ford Focus and he eventually came home 3.8 seconds up on F1 2007 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen.
"This was an extremely tough rally," Wilson noted. "As Kimi made a mistake this morning I had the chance to overtake. On the whole we are satisfied."
Raikkonen added: "It was nice to set the fastest time on the last stage. However I made too many mistakes throughout this rally."
Of the rest, BP Ford
Abu Dhabi WRT 'third' driver, Khalid Al-Qassimi was eighth, followed by Subaru privateer, Mark van Eldik and Patrik Sandell, who won the SWRC class in his Skoda Fabia S2000.
Sandell finished 4.7 seconds up on Martin Prokop, while overnight leader, P-G Andersson had to settle for third after knocking a wheel off his Fabia in SS15 and losing over 3 minutes.
"This is a very important and emotional victory, especially here in Germany," Sandell noted. "We've had a perfect rally on a tricky course. We had to fight until the very end to win the division."