Salou, Spain: Sebastian Ogier of France, driving a Volkswagen, retained his world title after victory in the Rally of Spain on Sunday.
Ogier, 30, finished ahead of team-mate Jari-Mari Latvala of Finland, the only man who could have overtaken him and prevented him from successfully defending the crown he won last year.
Another Finn, Mikko Hirvonen, in a Ford Fiesta RS, was third.
"The finishing line was really welcome," said Ogier.
"It has been a very long weekend. I am delighted to have won the title before the final race, as the Rally of Great Britain is full of traps.
"I pushed so hard on leg one and it was a long two days on tarmac where I had to watch Jari-Matti flying. I had to be clever and keep watching him all the time,"
Latvala did not make things easy for Ogier on the final day, winning all four of the closing stages, cutting the Frenchman`s lead from 27.3sec overnight to 11.3sec by the end of the race.
"I won in France on tarmac, but I think here I went even faster than there," said Latvala.
"Unfortunately in the gravel stage I lost a lot of time and it was impossible to reduce the difference. I had prepared for the rally on the tarmac and perhaps not enough for the gravel, but I am still happy with the result."
Latvala also won the final Power Stage, ahead of Citroen`s Chris Meeke and Mikkelsen, with Ogier fourth.
Volkswagen had already clinched the manufacturers` title for a second year running after the Rally of Australia.