First podium finish of season for fast, clean Paddon

New Zealander Hayden Paddon secured his first podium finish of the World Rally Championship season yesterday, finishing third in Turkey.

With his British co-driver Seb Marshall, Paddon stuck to the plan of being consistently fast and clean to take home his seventh WRC career podium finish.

Paddon did not have a great start to the rally as a malfunctioning handbrake led to the 17th-equal-fastest time in the opening special stage.

The first day was tough for Paddon but he rose up to sixth as he set the quickest time on two stages.

Paddon and Marshall kept their cool in Saturday's baking hot temperatures in a drama-filled day of rallying as leading WRC crews struggled with broken suspension, drivetrain issues and more. The duo moved from sixth to third on the leader board during the day.

While tyre wear was a major issue for the pair, they continued their consistent run with top four and five stage times throughout Sunday's 130.62 competitive kilometres of six special stages.

The pair went into yesterday in a clear third place, behind second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala by 57.4sec and ahead of fourth-placed Teemu Suninen by more than 2min.

Paddon described the need to preserve his third place with a calm, measured approach as like being in no man's land.

``It's about playing the long game in this rally. When you're in no man's land it can be really hard because you have to look after the car. It can be really painful but it's what you have to do.''

With steady sixth and seventh-fastest stage times, they got through the final special stage to finish third.

``I am really happy to take our first podium of the season. It has been a very tough rally. We have adopted a particular strategy this weekend that has required us to hold back and be patient.''

 

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