New Zealand's Hayden Paddon is holding third place after three days of Rally Poland.

With a string of top five times over the seven special stages, Paddon and co-driver John Kennard have consistently challenged the leaders Ott Tanak and Andreas Mikkelsen.

Paddon is 27.8 seconds behind Tanak, but just 6.5 seconds behind second placed Mikkelsen.

"It's been a good day. To be consistently up challenging the leaders has been good," said Paddon.


"The biggest thing today is to be consistent, we've had problems. The car's been performing really well. Just a few things with the driving, I'm trying to get on top of, but all in all to be in a strong third place and not far off second is a good place to go into the last day. This rally's not over. We're expecting some rain overnight, if the rain does eventuate, we know the roads here become very, very slippery if wet. So all of a sudden a five second gap is not so big. We'll hope for a bit of rain overnight because then that can give us a better chance and we'll keep pushing on and see what result comes at the end of the rally."

Ott Tänak extended his lead of the rally in a sun-kissed penultimate leg and starts tomorrow's short finale on course to secure his maiden WRC success.

He completed the longest leg of the four-day event 21.3sec clear of Andreas Mikkelsen's Volkswagen Polo R, with Paddon completing the provisional podium a further 6.5sec behind in a Hyundai i20.

Tänak was imperious in his Ford Fiesta RS this morning. He won all three speed tests to increase his lead from 4.2sec to 18.0sec, making the most of better grip than his rivals further up the start order who swept the sandy roads.