MICHAEL Jenkins was upbeat after his eventful return to the Welsh Rally Championship.

The Chilton driver was forced to retire from the Rallynuts event after his Peugeot 205 died at the start of stage five following an issue with the aux belt.

The 32-year-old and co-driver Scott Dance finished third on their previous visit, so were aiming to improve on that result.

But Jenkins knows he will be better for the experience after an eight-year break from the sport.

He said: “This year for me is all about learning, I’ve taken a lot of lessons away from this rally and know where myself and the car can improve.”

Jenkins and Dance were ten seconds per kilometre quicker than last year’s podium finish, before backing off as the brakes faded.

The Oxfordshire driver said: “We knew the gravel roads were going to be very cut up with over 100 cars passing through each stage before us.

“In the first few hundred meters of special stage one on Saturday morning I decided the road was in a good condition and I was going to go for it and bury my right foot.”

Jenkins and wife Alexandra are joint fifth in the Cotswold Motorsport Group Targa Championship and leading their class.

They will compete at the Stu Wood Memorial Targa Rally in Devon on April 24.