He completed the event’s final stage, the third run of the 25-kilometre Redrock stage, with the fastest time to secure victory by a margin of 44.2 seconds over Andreas Mikkelsen.
“Of course the feeling is very great but it was a nice battle and big thanks to Andreas for that,” said the factory ŠKODA Motorsport driver.
Hänninen and Mikkelsen had exchanged the lead throughout the weekend, but an error from the Norwegian on Saturday morning left Hänninen with a nine second lead.
Mikkelsen fought back and managed to reduce the deficit to 2.3s heading into the final loop. But The Norwegian hit one of the bale barriers losing even more time, eventually conceding defeat and allowing the Hänninen to enjoy the rain-affected final stages.
Mikkelsen finished second while Jan Kopecký, Hänninen’s ŠKODA team-mate, finished a distant third with Craig Breen fourth fastest in his Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 207.
The Irishman was on course for an even faster time only for a build-up of smoke in his car to put him off his stride.
Robert Barrable was fifth fastest with Mathieu Arzeno sixth quickest in his Peugeot.
Sepp Wiegand overshot a junction in his ŠKODA Auto Deutschland Fabia but still managed to go eighth fastest.
Garry Jennings clinched the IRC Production Cup spoils with fellow Northern Irish driver Marty McCormack landing IRC 2WD Cup honours.
Donagh Kelly posted the seventh fastest time to demote Sam Moffett to second in the IRC Production Cup.
1. Juho Hanninen - Skoda - 1h58m21.8s
2. Andreas Mikkelsen - Skoda UK - + 44.2s
3. Jan Kopecky - Skoda - + 1m39.5s
4. Mathieu Arzeno - Sainteloc Peugeot - + 4m01.6s
5. Craig Breen - Sainteloc Peugeot - + 4m53.8s
6. Robert Barrable - CA1 Skoda - + 5m14.5s
7. Sepp Wiegand - Skoda Deutschland - + 6m15.9s
8. Garry Jennings - Mitsubishi - + 8m27.9s
9. Donagh Kelly - Mitsubishi - + 9m11.4s
10. Sam Moffett – Mitsubishi - + 9m16.0s