Behind, M-Sport Ford pair Ott Tanak and Evgeny Novikov
were sixth and seventh, the latter surviving a big scare in SS18 and when he went off the road and lost 3 minutes. Tanak also had a spin this morning, but did enough to set the top time in SS20, the Power Stage, and take home the maximum three bonus points.
Chris Atkinson was the best placed MINI driver in eighth, after a solid drive at the wheel of his John Cooper Works WRC car.
Czech Ford National Team man Martin Prokop and Sebastien Chardonnet filled the final two points' places, the latter taking a point on what on his first outing in the WRC with the Citroen
Of the rest, Volkswagen Motorsport-duo Sebastien Ogier
and Andreas Mikkelsen were eleventh and twelfth in their Skoda Fabia S2000s, followed by Julien Maurin, Yvan Muller, Hermann Gassner and Romain Dumas in positions 13 through to 16.
In the SWRC, Craig Breen took the victory, with overnight leader Hayden Paddon retiring after problems in SS20. Yazeed Al-Rajhi was second in the class, 37.6 seconds back, while P-G Andersson took third, gifted the position at the end when team-mate Andreas Aigner checked in 9 minutes early at the final time control.
As for the WRC Academy, Elfyn Evans was in a class of his own again, taking his fourth win in succession and securing the title [see separate story - HERE
In terms of retirements, Dani Sordo was the biggest scalp today. The Spaniard was forced out in his Prodrive-run MINI John Cooper Works WRC car following a heavy impact in SS18. He limped through SS19, but retired after.
Nasser Al-Attiayh also failed to finish, after an accident on Saturday in SS10, while Paulo Nobre retired with one test to go.
Petter Solberg re-started this morning under the Rally 2 rules after his off in SS9 and was classified in 26th position.
The WRC now moves to Sardinia in a few weeks time, with that event running from October 18-21.
To view the result for the 2012 Rallye de France - CLICK HERE