Henning Solberg admitted he was 'pushing like mad' on the final day in Sardinia, despite being unable to secure seventh place in the event from Mads Ostberg.
The Stobart VK M-Sport driver struggled to get into his rhythm on the opening day but managed to hold sixth place going into the second day.
However, a puncture on SS9 on Saturday was followed by broken suspension in the afternoon and left the Norwegian to SupeRally on the final day.
Starting the day in tenth place, Solberg posted two quickest stage times and climbed up into the top eight although he fell just under a second shy of overhauling Mads Ostberg for seventh place.
“We were pushing like mad on the last stage but unfortunately it just wasn't enough to gain another place,” he said. “I feel really positive though as we made big improvements on the car and it felt the best that it has ever felt on the stages today. I think that my two fastest times showed that.
“It has been a re ally hard rally and our championship hopes took a bit of a knock but I just wanted to go out and get a good time today and that's what I did.”