Ken Block finally managed to open his account on Rally de Espana last weekend, when he brought his Monster Word Rally Team-run Ford Focus RS WRC car home in ninth place.

Block, who was competing in his sixth event of the season and running under the Stobart Ford banner, had a pretty good outing and he set a number of top ten times - despite still having only very limited sealed-surface experience.

His only major problem came on the second day in SS8 - the 20.48 kilometre-run through La Mussara 1, when he went off the road and lost around four minutes. Without that he would have been seventh, but he was still happy to take P9 and two championship points.

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"When we set out this morning, we were sitting in tenth overall, but we knew with [Sebastien] Ogier only a few spots behind, our points-scoring position wasn't going to be secure unless we stepped up our pace from day two," Block told the official Monster WRT website.

"Luckily though, yesterday's tarmac miles left us with a bit more confidence and with that came enough speed to defend our position.

"It's been a tough year for the whole team, so we are all extremely stoked with our finish here in Spain. Considering our issues on day two, I am very happy to be leaving here with our first two championship points, even if they came a few rallies late."

Ford/M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile was delighted to see Block notch up his best result to date: "Ken has done very well to finish in the top ten - Spain is a notoriously difficult event and he has shown good pace in the Focus RS WRC over the weekend.

"I'm sure Ken is looking forward to returning to gravel for Wales Rally GB now and I hope he will be able to demonstrate just how much he has improved this year when he contests the final round of the WRC season early next month," Wilson Sr concluded.