Bryan Bouffier has admitted he surpassed his own expectations after taking a sensational second place on Rallye Monte Carlo.

The Frenchman constantly challenged the front runners in his M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC car, and led from SS3 to SS9, when a spin dropped him behind eventual winner and reigning World Rally champion, Sebastien Ogier.

Despite having to settle for the runners-up spot though, the result was still extremely impressive, especially as it was his first outing with the Fiesta RS WRC - and only his sixth in the WRC. In the end he posted a string of top stage times - including going quickest in SS3 and in SS8 - to claim his maiden WRC podium.

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"I have to say that before the start of the rally, it was my dream to finish on the podium. To have actually achieved it is a fantastic feeling and truly surpassed my expectations," confirmed Bouffier, who finished fifth on the Monte last year and won it in 2011, when it was part of the IRC.

"It was a pleasure to battle for the lead," he continued. "On some stages we really pushed and it was great to see that our pace was strong enough to challenge.

"This is my first WRC podium on my first time with the Fiesta [RS WRC]. I need to thank my co-driver, Xavier Panseri, and my entire team because without them, this result would not have been possible," concluded the 35-year-old.