Warwickshire have been crowned county champions for the sixth time after defending champions Sussex lost to Middlesex at Hove.
Their draw with Worcestershire last Friday meant Nick Knight's side only needed nine points to be certain of the title.
But that became academic as Sussex, the only team with a chance of pipping them, lost by five wickets.
Warwickshire play their last game of the summer at Northants next week.
The Championship trophy will be presented to them at the end of the first day's play on 16 September.
They have only won five of their 15 matches so far but have remained unbeaten and amassed 63 batting bonus points to boost their overall total.
Coach John Inverarity told BBC Sport: "Ian Bell's had a tremendous summer, Nick Knight, Jonathan Trott, Dougie Brown, Brad Hogg with the bat - they've all enjoyed purple patches.
"But we're very much an evolving side and I truly believe that this team's best years are still a couple of years away."
In all, seven of their players average over 45 in the Championship with Bell, who recently made his England Test debut against West Indies, leading the way.
He has scored 1,473 runs at an average of 77.5, including six centuries - the highest of which was an innings of 262 not out against Sussex in May.
"We've been pretty consistent all year," said Bell.
Skipper Knight has lost little by comparison and his unbeaten 303 against Middlesex in June was a career best.
Warwickshire were last at the top of the county tree a decade ago when they won back to back titles in 1994-95.
"We have got a strong side. Nick was building for two to three years. To win it this early is a testament to the guy.
"I think he is a fantastic player and one of the reasons why Warwickshire are
county champions," all-rounder Dougie Brown commented.