Craig Breen moves on to the Tour de Corse still looking for his first European Rally Championship victory.
He held his nerve and drove sensibly in the treacherous conditions of the Rally Azores to finish second behind Jan Kopecky, recording his third podium finish in as many rounds.
Two punctures and smoke seeping into the cockpit of his Sainteloc S2000 Peugeot cost the former Rally NI winner, partnered by Paul Nagle, any real chance of catching the Skoda of Kopecky who leads Breen by 27 points in the ERC series heading to Corsica.
"Without the second puncture on Friday perhaps we would have been a bit closer, but we were on the edge of our comfort zone on the final morning and still not closing the gap to Jan so we sensibly got the car to the finish," said the World S2000 champion.
Meanwhile, Marty McCormack scored his second win in a row in the RAC historic championship in yesterday's Tour of Hamsterley. The Draperstown driver finished fifth overall in his Ford Escort and top of the historic category, 45 seconds ahead of Steve Bannister with Ryan Barrett third.
Former NI production champion Richard Hogg was back behind the wheel to win the Mulholland Motors Lark in the Park, part of Londonderry's City of Culture celebrations.
Hogg, in a Mitsubishi Evo6, was eight seconds ahead of Derek McGeehan's WRC Mini when the Maiden City organisers had to call a halt due to running out of road closing time. Darren McKelvey in another Evo6 was a further 16 seconds back in third.