Martin Prokop returned to the top ten of a World Rally Championship event after fortune smiled his way on the Rallye de France-Alsace.

After two days of action in the north-east of France, the Jipocar Czech National Team entry was lying eleventh in the overall classification and, with big time gaps in front and behind, Prokop and co-driver Jan Tom?nek were not expecting many changes in the the order with the standard scenario of drivers wanting to finish the rally safely.

However, proving the validity of the rule that states the rally only ends at the finish ramp, Robert Kubica crashed on the very last special stage to give Prokop a belated birthday gift in form of a lone championship point.

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"Compared to Saturday, when we tried to push very hard and drove on our limit, today we wanted only to control and keep our position," the Czech admitted, "Moving to the [tenth] position is at least a small satisfaction for me and the whole team as we worked really hard during the whole rally.

"The car was great, with perfect set-up and tyre choice. We made no mistakes and pushed on maximum during the Saturday leg. My feeling in the car was perfect, but the times were simply not good enough to fight with the best.

"Compared to my previous French rallies with WRC car, this was very good performance with no obvious troubles, but we unfortunately still didn?t break the code of success here in France. The track was dry and very fast this year and all factory drivers were extremely motivated in the name of 'let's catch the Volkswagen guys', so it was very demanding to keep with the crazy pace. It felt really like circuit racing with no reserves!

Now we want to prepare perfectly for the last rallies in Spain and Wales which are both among my favourite events. I am trying to take our French result positively and as a good motivation into the last two races."