Hyundai's Dani Sordo delighted the home fans by taking third place on RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada on Sunday.
Sordo had looked set to finish in fourth in his i20 WRC until rally leader Sebastien Ogier crashed out in the event ending Power Stage. That handed Sordo his first podium of the season and Hyundai's third after second place finishes in Sweden and Sardinia.
The result also helps keep Hyundai in the fight for second in the Manufacturers', with four points separating them now from Citroen ahead of the 2015 WRC season finale next month in Wales.
“I am so happy with this result and our performance this weekend,” said Sordo. “We fought hard for a podium result and it was looking like we were going to have to settle for fourth place, which would still have been a great result.
“Of course it is never nice to benefit from the misfortune of others but to be on the podium in front of the Spanish crowd is just fantastic.
“We knew it would be hard to break into the top-three but we never gave up and the outcome of this rally shows that you can never be sure of anything until the very end.
“We have some important points for the Championship [too] and something nice to celebrate with the team and with the fans. It's a positive thing to take into the final rally of the season, which will be decisive in our push for second in the [Manufacturers'] Championship.”
Meanwhile, Hayden Paddon was sixth in the 'third' car, while Thierry Neuville limped home in eighth in his i20 WRC after a transmission issue put him off in the penultimate test.
“In the end, we can celebrate a brilliant podium thanks to a very dramatic end to this rally. It is particularly special for Dani in front of his home fans and helps us add some important points for the Championship fight,” Hyundai team boss, Michal Nandan added.
“We have shown some really solid pace from the Hyundai i20 WRCs this weekend in what is a complicated mixed surface event, so that is very encouraging.
“Hayden's sixth place is a nice reward for his efforts this weekend [too], particularly after his punctures yesterday, while Thierry can take consolation from finishing eighth after a tough final day. He had a transmission issue in SS22, the penultimate stage, which sent him off the road, and he then had to complete the rally with two-wheel drive, which certainly minimised the damage in terms of scoring points.
“Three cars in the top-eight and a podium result is a nice achievement and the team has done an exceptional job.
“There's just one rally left - and one important job for us - to push for second place. We know we'll have to fight for it but we're up for the battle!”