The New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon was seventh after the second day of the Rally of France in Corsica.
The Hyundai driver was one minute and 25 seconds behind the leader, Volkswagen driver Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland.
Starting the day 10th overall - their 11th overall position revised when 10th-placed Sebastian Ogier didn't make it back to parc ferme on the first evening - Paddon secured a sixth quickest time on the day's opening stage, just one of two stages on a rally itinerary shortened due to the storm damage on stage four.
"A better start for the morning, the conditions are a little bit easier but still very slippery in places. The confidence is a little bit higher. Okay, we made the wrong tyre choice, but the time was okay," Paddon said at the midday service.
The afternoon's only stage - 48.46 kilometres of fast, flowing tarmac - in drier conditions saw Paddon gain even more confidence and a seventh quickest stage time to improve to seventh overall.
"This afternoon, it was a nice proper tarmac stage so I focused on my driving rather than on the pace notes. I felt that my driving was better but we weren't following the notes as closely so there was room for improvement. Still, it's been another valuable day of learning and we will continue to build on this tomorrow," Paddon said.
Happy with the improvement, Paddon said he would try and aim for a top-five finish on the last day, which comprises three stages covering 94.91km, now the longest leg of the rally.