Henning Solberg had to settle for eleventh place at the finish of the Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada on Sunday, his fourth outing under the Munchi's Ford WRT banner.
The Norwegian, who took his first ever points finish on a sealed surface round in Germany back in August, when he was seventh, had been hoping to again get into the top-eight, but that never looked likely.
Indeed he struggled to set any times in the top-ten and only managed to do so right at the end, when he was eighth in the final stage, the short repeat-run through the 4.11 kilometre La Serra d'Almos test.
Despite his lack of pace though, he was happy with the tweaks he made to his Focus RS WRC07 and is now hopeful that will stand him in good stead for Corsica, when he will be back with the Stobart team.
"I came here knowing I had to drive to the conditions and learn as much as possible and that's what I did," he explained. "We are not able to push from the start as I need to have a good feeling with the car and with no tarmac testing before the rally, this was always going to take some time.
"We found a really positive diff setting on Saturday which let me settle down and concentrate on perfecting my driving style. But it's difficult here with all the cuts and gravel on the stages so it's important not to get carried away.
"With Corsica just a few days away we needed to keep the car undamaged and the setting we have should hopefully work in Corsica and help us to be faster from the start of the rally."
Federico Villagra meanwhile finished one-spot behind Henning in the other Munchi's Ford. As it was only his second ever tarmac WRC event and his first time on the Pirelli PZero asphalt tyre, he was reasonably content with P12.
"I don't have much experience on this surface so the rally was always going to be a big learning experience for me. The test before the event was a huge benefit and we got some good information from there," he added.
"But we stuck to the game plan, which was to try and get to the finish with no problems, and this was definitely the correct decision. We changed the rear anti-roll bar on Saturday and that helped a lot in making the car more stable and precise as one of the problems we had early in the rally was some understeer. This has been a good event and a positive experience for me and we know a lot more about this rally and the conditions."
The Munchi's Ford squad will now sit out the event in France, before taking in its tenth and final round of the year in Japan, when Henning will again join the side and drive the #10 car.