Prodrive boss David Richards said he was impressed by the performance of Pierre Campana on his debut for the MINI World Rally Team in Monte Carlo.

Campana was called into the team alongside Dani Sordo for the season opener in place of Kris Meeke and secured his best finish in the WRC to date with seventh place.

Along the way, Campana secured a brace of top four stage times at the wheel of his MINI John Cooper Works and Richards - boss of the company that runs the MINI programme - said he was impressed by the performance.

"Pierre has certainly impressed me and the MINI WRC team with his sensible approach and speed in this difficult rally in what is just his third WRC event," he said. "As a young driver, it is not easy to come into a manufacturer team and be quick and consistent throughout the event, but that is exactly what Pierre has achieved.

"The fact he has scored valuable points for MINI in the first WRC event of the year is very much to his credit."

Campana himself was delighted with the performance, adding that he hoped it would be the first of a number of runs in the car.

"It has been a fantastic Monte Carlo rally and I take away a lot of valuable experience thanks to the MINI WRC team. The MINI John Cooper Works WRC car has been a joy to drive. After a cautious start to the event, I have built up a lot of momentum and confidence in the last few days, as shown by the performances in SS12 and yesterday's stages. We had a power steering problem in this morning's power stage but it made no difference to the overall result and I am proud to have scored points in my first WRC event with a manufacturer team.

"This has been just my third WRC event and, overall, I'm pleased with my performances. I cannot thank MINI enough for this opportunity and hope that I have the chance to return to the WRC stage as soon as possible."