Ford privateer Martin Prokop survived a late scare to take a morale boosting sixth place on Rally Mexico on Sunday.

Prokop had a few "big moments" early on in SS2 and SS4, as well as having to stop for a cow in SS5, but kept going as a number of the "big" names dropped by the wayside, including Thierry Neuville, Ott Tanak, Robert Kubica and then on Saturday, Jari-Matti Latvala.

That left the Jipocar Czech National Team man on course for eight points in his Fiesta RS WRC - and his third points finish of the season - and he didn't disappoint, despite misfortune in the last corner in SS20, the penultimate test, when he went off after hitting a stone and picking up a puncture.

"On Saturday morning we started well and had good pace. We were just a little bit off the factory crews and enjoyed every metre of the stages. I dare say that those tests were my best moments and my best performance at the wheel of a rally car," said Prokop, who set a number of good times during the event, including going second quickest in SS6 and SS14 and third in SS10.

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"Despite this performance in the morning though, during the afternoon we slowed down a bit because I knew if we broke something that would be it. Also the cars here always have an extremely hard time.

"In the end we were able to move up to sixth on Saturday in part due to our excellent driving and also because of Jari-Matti [Latvala]'s retirement [in SS12]."

"On Sunday we then chose to be safe and drive with our head. I am sure the fans wanted to see a good battle between us and Dani Sordo for fifth [given the gap was less than 30 seconds at the end of Saturday], but we didn't want to get carried away," Prokop added.

"We even had a scary moment a couple of hundred metres before the end of the penultimate stage. I hit a stone pulled out by a previous car and got a puncture. That took me off. But we were able to get ourselves back on and after changing the wheel could go to the last stage.

"I want to thank my mechanics and team for all their hard work this weekend. I also want to thank the fans for making this event so special."

Prokop has now scored 14 points this season - and has finished in the top-ten in every WRC event he has participated in since Germany last year.