Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre both declared themselves satisfied after last weekend's PZM 73rd Rally Poland following two closely-matched performances.
Both drove DS 3 World Rally Cars under the Abu Dhabi Total team banner as they vied for places in Citroën's 2017 WRC team.
For much of the rally there was little to separate the youngsters' stage times and after SS11, and more than one hour of stage driving, they were tied dead level in seventh position.
A determined push from Lefebvre on the following stages pulled him ahead, and the Frenchman claimed his first WRC stage win on SS15, but he lost that advantage after a crash three stages from home that wrecked his car's rear suspension [below] and plunged him down to 12th.
"In spite of the tough final day, I think it was a pretty good rally for us," said Lefebvre. "We made a step forward in terms of performance since we cut the gap per kilometre to the leading drivers again and we claimed our first ever WRC stage win.”
Poland was Irishman Breen's second appearance this year in the DS 3 and he was delighted to add a seventh place finish to the eighth he secured in Sweden.
“The result has exceeded all my expectations," said Breen, "The idea was to try and pick up where we left off in Sweden, but it was five months since I last drove this car! I found the rhythm very quickly, setting some encouraging times on the first few stages. We were consistent, avoided making any major mistakes and made it to the end in a good position."
The Abu Dhabi Team will run cars for Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Khalid Al-Qassimi at the forthcoming Neste Rally Finland (28-31 July) and will also enter a car at Rally China - Beijing (8-11 September) for Meeke.