New Zealand drivers Hayden Paddon and John Kennard finished with a well-deserved third place in the competitive WRC2 category at this weekend's World Rally Championship in Finland.
The pair began the final day's eight stages in a podium position, just under two minutes behind former Formula 1 driver Pole Robert Kubica in second with Finn Jari Ketomaa out in front.
Paddon's competitive stage times during the morning's loop of four stages put the Kiwi consistently in the top three, just a second or two slower than the stage winners Finns Ketomaa and Esapekka Lappi.
Paddon and Kennard were second quickest of the WRC2 competitors on both runs through the Ouninpohja stage and were never outside the top four all day.
"Today was a trouble-free day for us," said Paddon. "We went at a steady pace on the morning loop when the stages were not too damaged and then took it easy on the afternoon rougher stages."
Overall, Paddon and Kennard finished the third day's stages having slightly narrowed the margin to second-placed Kubica and widened the gap back to Yazeed Al Rajhi in fourth.
"It is always a great feeling to finish on the podium in Finland, the spiritual home of rallying, and finishing third today gets our 2013 WRC campaign off to a great start," Paddon said.
"It is also a relief to get back on the podium in the WRC and to be the fastest S2000 competitor over the course of the rally was also pleasing."