“It was a tall order and I gave it everything,” Meeke said. “But I went wide and didn't have the grip from the front tyres. The car has exceeded expectations this year though and we're at a very good level and know where we have to be. For sure we can push for a win next year. Hopefully I can get on the podium in 2012.”
“It was a good fight with Kris today,” added Henning, who ensured Ford took a clean sweep of the podium places. “I tried to keep calm and just look at the times to make sure we could try to stay ahead. I am very, very happy to finish on the podium. It has been a really tough year but this is just the most perfect way to end the season. I will now speak to my sponsors for next year so I hope this result will help secure us a good deal for 2012.”
Matthew Wilson was next up and completed the top five, albeit 1.5 minutes further back. The Englishman was happy though with the result, his best ever finish on home soil: “Wow, what a weekend! It's been a long rally with a lot of action but it's been a good event for us. We've not made any big mistakes although we struggled with the very slippery road surfaces at times on Friday. We've found a good rhythm today and we've been able to enjoy ourselves too so we are very happy,” he noted.
Further back Ott Tanak took P6, after an impressive first outing in his DMACK tyres-shod Ford Fiesta RS WRC, while Evgeny Novikov
was seventh, despite a spin in the Power Stage, 25 seconds up on Dennis Kuipers.
Ken Block and Armindo Araujo rounded out the points' scorers, followed by Sebastien Ogier, who finished thanks to the SupeRally after crashing in SS1 on Thursday, and then Kevin Abbring, Haydon Paddon and PWRC class winner, Patrik Flodin.
In terms of retirements, in addition to Hirvonen and Loeb, Petter Solberg
and Kimi Raikkonen were amongst the others who failed to get to the end. Solberg was forced out on the road section to Hafren 1 on Saturday when a fuel pump broke, while Kimi went out after going into a ditch in SS12.
The WRC now takes a break before the 2012 season gets underway in January with Rallye Monte Carlo.