It was mission accomplished for Marty McCormack on the Rally du Var in the south of France.
With the French Citroen Racing Trophy title just out of reach, the 24-year-old Draperstown driver had his sights set on securing the runners-up position on the final round of the series.
And he succeeded with second place (24th overall) in his Citroen C2R2 Max behind the similar car of Frenchman Guillaume Sirot despite the spare wheel coming loose on one of the rally’s longest stages.
“We had to back off for fear of the loose wheel fracturing a fuel line,” he said. “Second place was still good enough to make sure we finished runner-up in the series behind Jean-Renaud Marchal so it was a good weekend.”
The rally was won overall by Cedric Robert in a Peugeot 307 WRC, the victory ensuring he becomes French national champion ahead of Brian Bouffier who finished second in his S2000 Peugeot 206.
Renault F1 driver Robert Kubica finished fourth in an S1600 Renault Clio, one place higher that Sebastien Ogier in Citroen’s new R2 challenger, the DS3.
Meanwhile, Brian Armstrong won the Gullion Stages Rally at the weekend, but only after Neil McCance demonstrated his sporting side.
McCance was fastest on all eight stages, but declined to hand in his time card at the finish, feeling his four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer had too much of an advantage in the icy, slippery conditions.
Armstrong took the win ahead of Michael Conlon and Alan Nesbitt, all three in two-wheel-drive Ford Escorts.