Martin Prokop opened his account for WRC 2014 last weekend by taking an encouraging fifth place on Rally Mexico, the third round in the championship.

Prokop had failed to finish in both Monte Carlo and Sweden, with a mechanical issue sidelining him on the former event, while he crashed out on the latter with just two stages to go. That meant the trip to Leon was of added significance and the Jipocar Czech National Team man didn't disappoint.

Indeed he ran in the points pretty much throughout, gradually gaining places in his Fiesta RS WRC as others - such as Mikko Hirvonen, Kris Meeke and Robert Kubica - fell by the wayside.

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Prokop eventually finished more than 3 minutes up on local ace, Benitio Guerra in sixth, although he did have a big scare in SS20 - the giant 55.92 kilometre Guanajuatito test - on the final day.

"Three kilometres before the end of the longest special stage [SS20] on Sunday I spun in a fast slope bend and I nearly turned the car on the roof," recounted the privateer. "At the end though all was okay for us and we are at the finish of this nice and demanding rally.

"We avoided bigger mistakes and also our car ran without serious problems what all together is our formula for success. I believe that the [bad] spell of the season is now broken. I would like to thank to my whole team and the fans - we can feel their support via social networking. Also I'd like to thanks some of the Czech fans that came to support us here in Mexico, we appreciate that very much."

Team manager Quirin Muller added: "Finally we managed it and got to the finish ramp - and we are bringing home good points too. For the whole team this is very good and a needed boost.

"I believe that now the season will continue to go successfully. We know we still have to work on speed and push ourselves forward and not rely on the retirements of our competitors, but we have another nine events this year to prove our potential."