Mads Ostberg broke into the top 50 in the Castrol EDGE Rankings for the very first time after inheriting victory in an extraordinarily difficult Rally Portugal.
It had seemed Mikko Hirvonen would capture his first win for Citroen, and with it the championship lead, as the Finn came to dominate following mishaps for the usual frontrunners.
He was excluded following post-event scrutineering however - the non-conformity of his car's clutch the main culprit - handing Ostberg a maiden World Rally Championship win.
The Norwegian rose 27 places to 46th as a result, easily his highest ever Rankings.
Hirvonen's exclusion - the magnitude of which was amplified by woes for his title rivals Sebastien Loeb, Jari-Matti Latavala and Petter Solberg - also cost him ground in the Rankings, the Finn sliding four spots to 15th.
He remains the second in the WRC Rankings by virtue of the fact Latvala also slipped up.
The Finn had assumed the lead of the rally when Loeb rolled and damaged his roll cage on SS2, meaning he was unable to finish the rally.
Latvala's event came unstuck just three stages later as he clipped a rock and crashed out of the lead in extremely treacherous conditions.
The cost of that mishap was apparent in the championship, where he trails Loeb by 38 points, and in the Rankings, where he slipped five spots to 22nd.
With Latvala falling, his Ford team-mate Solberg moved into the lead but he too came unstuck, sliding off and getting stuck in a ditch two kilometres from the finish of SS6.
Both Solberg and Latvala were able to resume under Rally 2, but while the latter could only finish 14th, Solberg managed to fight his way back to fourth - which became third with Hirvonen's exclusion.
As a result he was able to gain ground in the Rankings, rising 19 spots to 34th. He now trails Loeb by just four points.
The Frenchman lost significant points in the Rankings, but was able to hold onto seventh thanks largely to the gap he had already established over Carl Edwards and Scott Dixon.
Evgeny Novikov, who collected his maiden WRC podium even before Hirvonen's exclusion, rose a massive 77 places to 132nd, the first time he has broken into the top 200.
To see the full Rankings, visit www.castroledgerankings.com.