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Paddon finishes third at Rally Poland

NZN 3/07/2016

Hayden Paddon's stalled World Rally Championship campaign is back on track following a third placing in Poland.

New Zealand driver Paddon climbed two places to third in the WRC standings after a solid four days in Rally Poland in which he was consistently on the pace.

He finished 28.5 seconds behind Norwegian winner Andreas Mikkelsen and less than 2sec shy of second-placed Estonian Ott Tanak, who led through much of the rally but lost ground when he punctured on the penultimate stage.

Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville closed to within 0.8sec in fourth on what turned into a tense finish to the 21-stage rally in wet and slippery conditions.

"Our objective today was to secure third position rather than push for second, so we wanted to be relaxed," Paddon said.

"But I think we probably eased off too much. Third is a great result, irrespective of how close it was.

"They were very, very tricky conditions and it was very hard to judge your speed."

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were relieved to notch a third podium finish of the year after failing to finish both of the last two rallies, in Portugal and Italy.

Before that, they secured a first victory in a WRC round in Argentina in April. They were second in round two in Sweden.

"It takes a huge amount of weight off my shoulders after what's happened recently," Paddon said.

The eighth round starts in late this month in Finland.

WRC Standings: Sebastien Ogier (France, Volkswagen) 143 1, Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway, Volkswagen) 92, Hayden Paddon (NZ, Hyundai) 72, Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland, Volkswagen) 68, Dani Sordo (Spain, Hyundai) 68.

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