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Paddon fourth after Wales opening day

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/10/2016

Hayden Paddon of New Zealand during the press conference of the WRC Portugal on May 19, 2016 in Porto, Portugal © Getty Hayden Paddon of New Zealand during the press conference of the WRC Portugal on May 19, 2016 in Porto, Portugal New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon is caught up in another tight battle for a podium finish after a solid start to the Wales Rally GB.

Paddon and his Hyundai co-driver John Kennard are fourth after the first eight stages of the 22-stage event, the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship.

After negotiating mud and poor visibility for much of Friday, the Kiwi pair are more than a minute behind Frenchman Sebastien Ogier, who has already secured a fourth straight WRC crown in his Volkswagen.

Paddon's best stages were the first and last of the day, when he recorded the third-quickest times.

The Geraldine driver sits just 3.8sec behind Belgian team-mate Thierry Neuville and is looking forward to a decent joust over the two remaining days.

"We struggled a little with the grip changes and setup but tomorrow's stages suit us better and we will push to fight for the podium," he said.

Paddon was fourth overall heading into the WRC's two final rallies, in Wales and Australia.

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