Ford WRC privateer Martin Prokop has conceded he needs to improve and find more speed if he is to get closer to the factory drivers.
Prokop took good points by finishing sixth on Rally de Portugal last weekend, his second points finish in succession after taking fifth in Mexico.
However, while he was happy to score again, the Jipocar Czech National Team man was disappointed with his stage times in his Fiesta RS WRC car - his best efforts a ninth and four tenth quickest times – and in the end he finished more than 3 minutes off fellow Ford runner, Henning Solberg in fifth, and only took P6 after Hyundai's Thierry Neuville ran into difficulties in the final test.
“We are at the finish of very difficult and demanding rally. Portugal again showed how uncompromising it is and it was a big test for both drivers and cars,” Prokop said after the fourth round in the 2014 World Rally Championship.
“Before the rally I said to myself, 'Okay, you can be happy to finish in the top-ten here as the competition is so tough'. Sixth place is for sure then a result I can be happy with as lots of top drivers went off and crashed, or their cars didn't manage the pace and rough conditions."
"However, on the other hand, I have to admit that my feelings are quite mixed,” he added. “I tried really hard to improve my driving style and times during the weekend in a bid to move closer to the best factory drivers. But unfortunately it didn't happen. I have to improve myself - it is what the team and fans expect from me.
“We are still on the same speed (as last year) with virtually no progress. I do not want to get stuck in a rut,” he concluded.