Britain's Kris Meeke returned to the World Rally Championship and put in a very fine performance on the Rallye Deutschland last weekend in his Renault Clio Super 1600.
Meeke, who last competed in the WRC on the Rally Ireland at the end of last season, has done a variety of events so far this year, including winning the Rally Barbados, as well as doing the Donegal and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge round in Russia.
Going into the penultimate stage in Trier he was the top driver in the Super 1600 class - more than a minute up on Sebastien Ogier, who eventually took the Junior World Rally Championship win.
However the Ulsterman was cruel denied the 'moral' win in the J-WRC due to a problem with the electrical connection on the Clio's crank sensor, which cost him over 5 minutes and dropped him from 18th overall to 25th at the finish, 15 seconds up on Alessandro Bettega, who took the final J-WRC podium spot.
"OK, the overall result did not happen for us, but it was a great run for the team," Meeke told his personal website. "Friday was slightly difficult to get a good feeling for the car, as I had no pre-event test. Once the Muneratto team and I had fine-tuned the set-up though, the car felt really good.
"When the feeling is good, the times can flow easily. I am driving better than ever now. So from that point of view, the event has been a success. I really need to work hard to try and get some more outing like this, but my ultimate aim is a World Rally Car. Results like this help.
"I really need to thank my backers - they have shown great faith in me. It's a pity we were not able to give them the win, but it am grateful for the opportunity to prove my pace in WRC again."
In total Meeke set 13 fastest stages times from 17 in the Super 1600 class and he reckoned that more than shows he deserves a programme in the WRC: "It was a frustrating way for it to end but these things happen and overall I was delighted with my performance," he told the Belfast Telegraph
"If I was chasing a championship I would be more upset and although it would have been nice to return to the World Rally Championship with a win I think I still made my point."