Hayden Paddon's performance at Rally Guanajuato Mexico has left him more determined to up his game on his favoured gravel surface in coming WRC events.
On his 50th WRC start, the Hyundai team driver achieved a hard-fought fifth in Mexico, having overcome two broken suspension arms and other mechanical issues in the mountain stages around Leon.
He found his strongest form on the final day, with a top three time on Sunday's monster 80km stage and carried that assurance into the final test, the points-earning Power Stage, to again set the third quickest time and earn his first bonus point.
Relieved to have achieved his pre-event goal of a top five, the 28-year-old New Zealander felt the experience would stand him in good stead for the upcoming run of five gravel rallies, including Rally Italia Sardegna, the event where he made his mark in 2015 with a stunning second place.
“There are a lot of positives to take forward. We had some good times; we were in the top three quite often but at the same time there are still some things to work on for the future," he said.
"There’s a good fight going in the championship within the top five and I’m sure that’s going to go on season long. We’re going to work hard now before Argentina and the following gravel rallies to get closer to the front and put a bit more pressure on those guys.”