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Paddon content after Spanish inquisition

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/10/2016

Hayden Paddon © Getty Images Hayden Paddon Hayden Paddon is pleased with his progress on tarmac after narrowly missing a podium finish at the Rally of Catalunya in Spain.

New Zealand driver Paddon made some headway on a surface he doesn't traditionally enjoy, closing to within 12 seconds of third-placed Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville on Sunday before settling for fourth.

After top-five finishes in the four closing stages, Paddon reckons he and co-driver John Kennard are improving on the hard surface.

"Some good progress at long last," Paddon said.

"It could have been an even better result without Friday's (engine) troubles but nevertheless it's great for the team to have three cars in the top four."

Spaniard Dani Sordo was second but he couldn't haul in Volkswagen winner Sebastien Ogier.

The Frenchman did enough to clinch a fourth successive World Rally Championship driver's crown with two rounds remaining in the 13-leg series.

Paddon remains fourth overall heading to rallies in Great Britain and Australia and within sight of Norway's Andreas Mikkelsen and Belgian Neuville in front of him.

However, Sordo has also closed within three points in his rear vision mirror.

WRC standings:

Sebastien Ogier (France, Volkswagen) 222 1, Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway, Volkswagen) 127 2, Thierry Neuville (Belgium, Hyundai) 127 3, Hayden Paddon (NZ, Hyundai) 114 4, Dani Sordo (Spain, Hyundai) 111 5.

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