Kris Meeke scored his first podium finish of the season but admitted "too many silly, stupid mistakes" cost him a shot at a second successive Rally Mexico victory.
He did lead briefly in his Citroen C3 but a couple of costly spins on Friday saw him drop to fourth before he fought back to second on Saturday, less than four seconds behind the Ford of Sebastien Ogier.
But another big spin late in the afternoon proved damaging, allowing Hyundai's Dani Sordo to move ahead and then yesterday Meeke's rally almost ended when he skated slowly off the road and into a gulley.
Luckily there were plenty of spectators to rescue him but all hopes of winning, or even reeling in Sordo, had gone.
But it was third place points on the board as Ogier moved back to the top of the championship, finishing 73 seconds ahead of Sordo with a deflated Meeke a further 15 seconds behind.
Meanwhile on rally days Derek McGarrity practically owns Bishopscourt race circuit. The seven times Northern Ireland champion was unchallenged as he won there for a sixth year in a row to take the lead again in the McGrady Insurance NI series.
With most of his rivals slipping and sliding out of contention in the horrendously wet conditions, McGarrity and co-driver Paddy Robinson sailed serenely to victory in his S14 Subaru Impreza by a margin of more than a minute.
Current champion Jonny Greer was missing on Saturday, his new R5 Citroen DS3 not ready in time, and it was Alan Carmichael in his WRC Mini who finished closest to McGarrity albeit 67 seconds in arrears and just two ahead of former champion Connor McCloskey's WRC Ford Fiesta.
Mark Massey was another driver who saw his chances slide from beneath him, dropping from second to finish fourth in his Subaru while the charging Barry Morris won the two wheel drive division in fifth in his Ford Escort.
Peter Bennett rounded out the top six, the 17-year-old catching the eye in his first championship outing in a Mitsubishi Evo.