Motorsport: Paddon finishes eighth on debut

Hayden Paddon. Photo / Honza Fronkek
Hayden Paddon. Photo / Honza Fronkek

Hayden Paddon has completed a top 10 finish in his World Rally Championship debut.

Paddon's finished eighth in Rally Spain, more than six minutes behind the winner, newly-crowned World Champion Sebastien Ogier. Ogier's Volkswagen teammate Jari-Matti Latvala finished second ahead of Citroën's Mikko Hirvonen in third.

Paddon's stage times on the final day - varying from 11th to eighth-quickest - kept him comfortably in ninth overall, but he wasn't in a position to challenge experienced WRC campaigner Martin Prokop in a similar Fiesta running in front of him.

The demise of Citroen's Dani Sordo allowed Paddon and others to move up the leaderboard.

The 26-year-old from Geraldine is already reviewing his performance, keen to improve and be ready for any future opportunities in the FIA World Rally Championship.

"Of course it is good to get to the finish as that was obviously one of our goals, but this rally has all been about progression, and we have learnt a lot from it," Paddon said.

In terms of the future, Paddon added: "There is still a long way to go and we're currently unsure what the next step will be. We definitely want to be in a world rally car next year - this experience has taught us that we need more seat time to be competitive, and we're sure we can be. Now we must continue to work hard, evaluate this event, learn and become stronger from it."

- NZ Herald

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