A row between the FIA and the teams has rumbled on for the past month, with a request for the running order to be tweaked for the final day's gravel stages in Spain.
Despite the teams presenting a united front in their recommendation that the classification should be reversed, meaning the slowest 'priority' driver is first on the road, the FIA refused to budge.
Regulations regarding gravel rallies were changed at the start of last season, following the widespread use of slowing tactics by front-runners to gain a better position in the running order the following day.
Ogier dedicates Spain win to tragic Edwards
The FIA stated categorically that the regulation did not apply to this case, saying: "With the rally running its first two days on asphalt, the event is viewed as a Tarmac rally. As such, the regulations state that drivers restart in the order of their provisional classification."
The Spanish organisers sympathised with the manufacturers and wanted the drivers to be pushing flat-out throughout the route.
The officials applied for a waiver to the FIA to reverse the order on the Saturday night, but this was denied. There were then fears that the drivers would be slowing on Salou's town centre stage, the final asphalt test before Sunday's gravel action, before the stewards stepped in.
A bulletin stated: "The start order for Sunday 27 October will be established as per the rally classification at the finish of SS8."
Sebastien Ogier is the driver who is likely to suffer most. The Volkswagen man will run first on the road throughout the event, sweeping the loose gravel from the surface on Sunday.
VW motorsport director Jost Capito said: "The organiser was completely against this running order and we see this from the bulletin - they don't want the drivers stopping in the city.
"We are fully aligned with the organiser. I am not angry about this, I am sad. I am sad because this is damaging the sport."
Citroen Racing team principal Yves Matton added: "This means we run through two days to have a fight on Sunday. This only brings strategy, not sport."
Ogier takes dramatic victory in Spain
Latvala stretches lead in Spain
Share this article