Bruno Magalhaes celebrated his debut IRC victory last week on home soil, which was also his second Azores rally win of his career.

“I thought the win had escaped me, but I ended up recovering the lead on the final stage!” he said. “Oil began to leak from my gearboxand I found myself with smears all over the windscreen. I couldn’t see a thing…”

The technical gremlins meant a win looked out of the question, but problems for both Skodas in the last two stages handed first place back to him by the finish.

“It was my turn to win today,” he said. “This is my first season at international level, so most of the events are brand new to me, and that’s something that slightly unsettled me to begin with. I now need to improve my pace notes which still aren’t ideal.”

“Next year, I now know I’ll be able to challenge for victory at every round…”

The win promotes him to third in the championship – but is still a whole 18 points behind championship leader Juho Hanninen.