Matthew Wilson successfully saw off the challenge of Kimi Raikkonen to secure sixth place on Rally Deutschland – a result the Stobart Ford man admitted he was delighted with.
The pair battled throughout the three days of action, with Wilson eventually holding on through the final day to secure his best finish in the event.
The Briton was also able to uphold honours for the Stobart team after Francois Duval's early promise ended in dramatic fashion when he crashed out on Saturday afternoon.
“I'm really pleased with this result - we hadn't done any testing in the car on asphalt since the last all-tarmac round in Bulgaria in June so I wasn't sure how I was going to get on but it's been a good rally for us,” Wilson reflected. “Of course, we've had our ups and downs over the weekend – I hadn't had as much experience using the hard compound tyres compared to the softer rubber, so our times suffered because of that but it was good to get some practice more practice using them.
“Saturday was probably our worst day – we had a whole new set of notes for the morning's stages so that slowed us down and then Kimi pulled away from us during the afternoon. It was so annoying as we had been ahead of him for most of the event but this morning [Sunday] was great for us – we had a really clear run on the first stage and put in a much faster time than Kimi which put us back in the game.
“I'm really pleased that I beat him in the end, especially on tarmac which is Kimi's preferred surface. I'm obviously disappointed for Francois and Denis [Giraudet] after they had been doing so well yesterday but sometimes that is just the nature of rallies, you can never predict what will happen but the most important thing is that they are both OK.”