Henning Solberg was delighted at the finish of the Rallye Deutschland on Sunday after bringing his Ford Focus RS WRC07 home in seventh to score his first ever points on an asphalt event.
The Norwegian put in a very solid performance, ending day one in eighth, before moving up a place on day 2 when fellow Ford runner Jari-Matti Latvala went off the road and dropped to tenth.
Henning then hung onto P7 on day three, although Citroen privateer Urmo Aava kept him on his toes, cutting the 'Expert' man-backed cushion's from 23.7 seconds overnight to just 1.6 seconds following the 4.37 kilometre Circus Maximus Trier SSS, which brought the event to a close.
"This has been a very special result for me it's nearly like winning the rally! Scoring my first points on tarmac is a big achievement and we have made some good steps here," noted Henning.
"It was a difficult rally for me as I don't have much experience on tarmac and I came here to learn some more and make improvements.
"I knew I wasn't going to be challenging with the leaders here but we made good progress and learnt a lot for Spain and Corsica so from that point of view it was a positive event for us."
Matthew Wilson meanwhile finished the event in twelfth, 17 seconds off Andreas Mikkelsen, in the other Stobart Ford entry not
nominated to score manufacturers' points.
The Englishman struggled during the three-days and he only posted two top-ten stage times.
He conceded that the event wasn't a very good one for him, although on the positive side, he believes the experienced gained will be useful ahead of the tarmac rounds in Spain and France in October.
"It has been a very useful event and we have made good improvements through our tarmac technique and also have learned some more about setup and the Pirelli tyre compounds. I'm not happy with the amount of small mistakes I made with spins and stalls but we have learnt from this for the future. We made some important suspension changes which helped the car under braking and gave me more confidence," he added.