Skoda Motorsport's Luis Climent made his final appearance in a Skoda Octavia WRC in yesterday's (Sunday) Race of Masters in Madrid, won by Britain's Colin McRae.

Climent's aggressive performance on the specially constructed 1km track earned a standing ovation from 8,000 Spanish fans as the 34year-old from Valencia overcame the SEATs of Toni Gardemeister and Salvador Canellas to finish fourth overall.

"I am pleased to have finished my year with Skoda in front of my home crowd. During the 2000 season, Octavia WRC has improved and I was glad to have beaten both factory SEATs as well as to have given Juha Kankkunen such a close run. I only lost to him in the third round by 77 hundreds of a second," said Climent.

"The track was very rough on the car," he continued, "however, my mechanics did a great to keep the car running well and we were in the thick of the action throughout. Although we didn't win, I am very happy and pleased with the our performance here. It has been a good finish of this season for me," Climent added.

The one-off Madrid rallysprint featured several of the major contenders from the FIA World Rally Championship including two Ford Focus WRCs for Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz, a Subaru Impreza for Kankkunen plus a pair of SEATs for Gardemeister and Cannelas.

The drivers raced against each other in two three-kilometre heats. Should the honours be shared, then a third heat was organised to decide the winner - the victor was awarded three points; the loser one point.

Climent underlined his determination by beating Gardemeister twice in his opening heat before losing to fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz. Climent then lost to Kankkunen in a third round tie-breaker and was also beaten by McRae, before finally overcoming Canellas to claim fourth place.

Overall standings of Race of Masters in Madrid:

1. Colin McRae (GB) Ford Focus WRC 15 points
2. Carlos Sainz (E) Ford Focus WRC 13 points
3. Juha Kankkunen (SF) Subaru Impreza WRC 11 points
4. Luis Climent (E) Skoda Octavia WRC 9 points
5. Tony Gardemeister (SF) SEAT Cordoba WRC EVO3 7 points
6. Salvador Canellas (E) SEAT Cordoba WRC EVO3 5 points