And the opening round of next year’s championship looks set to be another fascinating encounter in the French Alps - with crews tackling the infamous Col de Turini three times on the final day, 20 January.
Although the proposed route remains subject to final confirmation, the rally is set to retain its familiar start in Valence and finish in the principality of Monaco. However, next year will welcome the return of the classic Sisteron stage for the first time since 2002. This stage, which starts in Sisteron and finishes in Thoard, is part of the route down from the Ardeche to the roads in the Alpes Maritimes.
The opening two days of competition are very similar to the format run this year, when Sebastien Loeb won the event in his Citroen DS3 WRC. But the final day is different, with two runs at Lantosque-Luceram and three attempts at Moulinet-La Bollene-Vesubie - the last of which concludes round one of the 2013 season.
Rallye Monte-Carlo returned to the WRC for the first time in 2012 after a three-year absence from the calendar and it proved to be a fitting curtain raiser to the current season. The big question now is whether or not Sebastien Loeb will be in Valence to shoot for his seventh success in eight starts as he contemplates his future away from the sport...