The outgoing world champion began the day fourth, just five seconds off the lead, and hoping to end his record breaking career with a 79th WRC rally win.
But his challenge ended just 1km into the rain soaked Vignoble de Cleebourg stage (SS15), when his Citroen DS3 rolled into a ditch.
Back at the Strasbourg service area, Loeb told wrc.com what happened: “I started flat out because it was a close situation. We were fourth, fighting for the victory, but it didn’t go as I planned…” he said.
“I lost the rear in a fast right corner, and then we had a spin and I finished in the ditch. And that was the race over. For sure I would have preferred to have finished my last rally here, but it didn’t go according to the plan.”
However Loeb, who will switch to a World Touring Car programme with Citroen next season, remained philosophical.
“I’m not happy about the situation but I was not driving for the championship so I don’t need the points. I do feel sorry for the spectators and for the team though. There are a lot of spectators waiting in the stages and I won’t be driving through.
"For me it’s okay, I have some new plans for the future. I would have preferred to finish on the podium here on my last rally, but that’s life,” he added.