Alastair Fisher's frustrating season continued at Rally GB, with a broken suspension arm on the first day of competition ending any hopes of outright victory in the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship.
The Trillick driver can take heart from his comeback drive however, as he recovered from the day one setback to finish fifth place in the category behind eventual winner Craig Breen.
Alastair had been nominated as an SWRC wildcard entrant for the 80th running of the event on the back of a number of impressive performances in the WRC Academy, and despite being more familiar with his less powerful Fiesta from the FIA Academy series, he adapted quickly to his new mount.
"I hadn't driven the car on gravel for nearly a year, so there was a lot to take in on the event," he admitted. "It took time to adjust my driving style to the S2000 after driving the two-wheel-drive Fiesta R2 all season. But my confidence improved on every stage and I was very happy with some of our stages times against the SWRC regulars. After what happened on Friday it was important that I got all the remaining mileage in the car and we did that to finish and score 10 SWRC points".
Alastair claimed a stage win and fought off title leader P-G Andersson from Sweden in a close battle for fifth position on Sunday's final day of action at the wheel of his M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta S2000, but it could have been so much better were it not for his Friday mishap that cost him any hope of challenging for the lead. He was less than 10 seconds behind Craig Breen when he was forced to retire from the opening day when he broke a wishbone on a tightening corner after striking a rock.
"We've not been able to achieve the overall result we wanted but we gained some great experience and proved we could run on the same pace as the leaders on some of the stages which was positive," he said.
Alastair returns to WRC Academy action on Rally of France in Strasbourg from 4-7 October.
He has fond memories of the event after claiming his maiden WRC Academy win their last season.