It was made easier in Coffs Harbour for Neuville by the cancellation of the penultimate stage of the rally due to heavy rain. It put the Hyundai driver in the box seat, as his 14.7 second lead from the morning only had to survive the final Power Stage.

In the end the threat to Neuville from Jari-Matti Latvala collapsed when Latvala crashed his Toyota in the Power Stage.

"This one is a special one, this one goes to the whole team," Neuville said. "They've worked so much during the whole season.

"It wasn't always easy, but we kept the motivation high and pushed hard even if we lost the championship. Now we secured another win and second place in the championship. Thanks to the whole team."

Ott Tanak benefitted from Latvala's woes to finish an emotional second in what was his last rally with the Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport Ford team.

"I was never thinking about it, but on the final road section I was actually thinking quite a lot," Tanak said.

"If you've been in a family for a long, long time, it feels tough. Thank you Malcolm, thank you M-Sport. It's tough to leave, but that's life."

In the domestic Australian Rally Championship decider, which ran in conjunction with the WRC round, there was heartbreak for reigning champion Molly Taylor, whose hopes of defending her crown were dashed by an engine failure.

The Subaru driver had gone into the final with a substantial points lead but it was not enough to stop privateer and Coffs Harbour local Nathan Quinn from snatching his first ARC title.