Ogier wins in Portugal, Paddon finishes with pace
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Four-time world champion Sebastien Ogier claimed his 40th career victory at Rally Portugal overnight.
The M-Sport Ford driver eased to a comfortable 15.6s win over Hyundai's Thierry Neuville with the second Hyundai of Dani Sordo third.
Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon enjoyed a better final day, winning two stages and showcasing what might have been had he not suffered mechanical failure on the first two days.
"Certainly a rally of what might have been," Paddon said. "While the results are disappointing with the technical difficulties we had that cost us any chances, it's still positive and pleasing to know we can be competitive.
"We had the speed here that we should have been fighting for the win, but nevertheless we were able to win some stages on day one and day three."
After a string of poor results to start the season Paddon was down on confidence and worked hard with his Hyundai World Rally Team to try and set the car up more to his liking.
It also marked the first WRC event where he was joined by British co-driver Seb Marshall, who filled in for the injured John Kennard. Marshall will take over fulltime for Kennard after Rally Finland.
"It's good to get the confidence back; we're enjoying things inside the car again and the car's working for me. This is a big step forward as we move ahead for future gravel rallies. Everything in the car's working really well.
"Seb did an amazing job in the car for the first time, absolutely faultless. This bodes well for the future.
"It's not the result we wanted, but we know once our luck turns, once we can overcome some of these technical difficulties that the team are going to work hard to resolve, that we've got the package to put forward a good challenge to start trying to win some rallies in the very near future."
Portugal marked the first win for Ogier since the season-opening event in Monte Carlo. Like Paddon, he too had battled with the set-up of his car in recent events and was delighted to find himself on the top step of the podium with the debut of a new car this weekend.
"After the struggle we had in the last round, it's fantastic to be back on the top step of the podium again," the Frenchman said.
"I had a new car in Monte-Carlo and we won. I had a new car here and we won. I'm not sure if the team can afford to give me a new car for every rally," he joked.
Sebastien Ogier (Ford)
Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) +15.6s
Dani Sordo (Hyundai) +1:01.7s
Ott Tanak (Ford) +1:30.2s
Craig Breen (Citroen) +1:57.4s
Elfyn Evans (Ford) +3:10.6s
Juho Hanninen (Toyota) +3:48.9s
Mads Ostberg (Ford) +5:29.7s
Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) 5:43.6s
Esapekki Lappi (Toyota) +8:13.3s