Sydney - France's Sebastien Ogier secured his sixth consecutive world rally championship title when his two remaining rivals failed to finish stages on the third day of the season-ending Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour on Sunday.
The M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver's nearest rival Thierry Neuville of Belgium, who came into the rally three points behind Ogier in the title race, was forced to retire from stage 22 after tearing the left wheel off his Hyundai i20.
Toyota's overnight leader Ott Tanak also had a mathematical chance of taking the title in his Yaris, but the Estonian's chances were scuppered when he slid off a gravel track made slippery by rain and hit a tree in the penultimate stage.
"It's been an incredible season, so close, with ups and downs," said Ogier, who has won all six titles with co-driver Julien Ingrassia.
"Not so long ago we were thinking it would be tough to win this title, but we never gave up and we gave everything. We eventually grab it on the last rally, almost in the last stage. It's so emotional."