Paddon breaks drought with Poland podium: “it feels like a win”
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Podium for Paddon
After a chaotic Rally Poland, Hayden Paddon and co-driver Sebastian Marshall have claimed second place — Paddon's first podium of the year, and Marshall's first World Rally Championship podium result ever. The pairing's Hyundai Motorsport teammate Thierry Neuville held on to take the rally win by 1min 23.9sec.
“A big relief — it feels like a win,” Paddon said.
“You have no idea how hard this year has been. Huge thanks to the team, they've been really patient. This takes a lot of pressure off.”
The result ends a lengthy podium drought; spanning exactly 12 months. His last podium finish was a third at this exact event last year. It also sees Paddon improve one place in the championship standings to seventh.
After sitting in fifth for the opening phase of the rally, Paddon leap-frogged Sebastien Ogier for fourth place on day two's SS12 after the Ford pilot had to battle a broken wheel.
Closing in on the leaders, the Geraldine driver was then gifted a spot on the podium after Jari-Matti Latvala's Toyota Yaris lost all power while in the fight for the rally lead. And then, Paddon took second a few hours ago after former rally leader Ott Tanak crashed on SS21.
Behind the Hyundai i20 runners in first and second, Sebastien Ogier took third place as well as second place in the Power Stage. Dani Sordo took fourth, with Stephane Lefebvre rounding out the top five.
After a problematic rally for the Frenchman, Ogier's result is damage control as Neuville's win eats into his lead of the series. Despite failing to finish in the points, Jari-Matti Latvala has taken third place in the championship standings off Ott Tanak after winning the Power Stage.
Rally Finland is the next round of the World Rally Championship, taking place in four-weeks time.
|1. Thierry Neuville||2:40:46.1|
|2. Hayden Paddon||+1:23.9|
|3. Sebastien Ogier||+2:20.8|
|4. Dani Sordo||+2:47.4|
|5. Stephane Lefebvre||+3:11.8|
|6. Teemu Suninen||+3:16.8|
|7. Mads Ostberg||+3:39.6|
|8. Elfyn Evans||+4:39.1|
|9. Andreas Mikkelsen||+4:43.5|
|10. Juho Hanninen||+4:53.7|