New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon completed a strong Rally de Espana with a fourth place finish.
France’s Sebastien Ogier won the rally on Monday (NZ Time) to secure his fourth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title.
The next three cars were all Hyundais, including Paddon who missed out on a podium finish after being 1m 27.8s down on Ogier.
But it was an improved effort from the Kiwi who was much happier with his efforts on the tarmac stages after his struggles on sealed surfaces at the last rally in Corsica.
Paddon made up time over the weekend following a poor start to the rally, finishing just 13 seconds outside a podium place on the tarmac track.
The result leaves the 29-year-old in fourth on the WRC drivers standings.
Paddon says he was pleased with the way he finished the rally.
“Once we made the changes at lunch time yesterday we’ve been able to be up near the front and challenging our teammates, today (we were) even a little bit in front.
“We can take a lot of pleasure for that, that we’ve at long last made some progress on tarmac,” Paddon said.
The final two rallies in Great Britain and Australia are on Paddon’s favored track – gravel.
Paddon has made no secret he’s excited to get back to what he knows best.
“Now we’ve obviously got two gravel rallies ahead of us so we’re looking forward to getting back on the loose stuff and make a mends for what happened on Friday.
“We know we’ve got the speed on the gravel we’ve just got to put all the pieces together and try and challenge for a couple of podiums to finish the year off.”
The Rally of Great Britain begins later this month.