Hayden Paddon feared he had thrown away second place at Rally Sweden after a ragged run through the final Power Stage left his Hyundai with a punctured radiator.
The Kiwi began the 15km Värmullsåsen test well cushioned in second, but reached the finish with his car billowing steam and a dashboard full of warning lights.
"It was probably one of the worst stages I have had in my life," said Paddon. "I found it really difficult to drive being in a sort of no-man's land with nothing to gain and everything to lose. My lines were wrong, I made a whole lot of mistakes and then I clipped a wooden post on the inside of a corner.
"I didn't think anything of it, normally it wouldn't be a problem, but I must have caught it at a peculiar angle and it put a hole in the radiator. I may not have showed it but initially I did have concerns. It's never good to see steam and water coming coming out of the car. It was a relief when we found it was quite a small hole and we could fix it."
Hole repaired, Paddon made it to the finish podium 90km away in Karlstad, topping up the cooling system with water from a champagne bottle. The result moved him fourth equal in the drivers’ championship and also marked the second consecutive podium for Hyundai who are now just five points off manufacturers' leaders Volkswagen.
"I surprised myself with second place, it's good for the team and keeps us in the hunt in the manufacturers' race," he said.
"It's encouraging too for the future. There's more to come from the new car and I know I can drive a lot faster. I also learned more about Sébastien and why he always goes for maximum points on the Power Stage - I think having that as a target keeps him focused."