Hayden Paddon claims historic result in Sweden

Speedcafe.com

Monday 15th February, 2016 - 1:00am

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Paddon become the first non-European to score a podium at Rally Sweden

Paddon become the first non-European to score a podium at Rally Sweden

New Zealander Hayden Paddon has made World Rally Championship history by becoming the first non-European driver to finish Rally Sweden on the podium, after his second place finish behind world champion Sebastien Ogier.

Paddon is now one of only seven non-Scandinavian drivers to have finished second on the famed all snow and ice event.

The Hyundai factor driver held second place at the end of the opening leg. Through the following two days of competition Paddon maintained his position, although the final stage did bring some late drama.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard successfully completed the only special stage early Sunday afternoon (European time), but crossed the stage finish line with a water leak from the radiator after hitting a wooden post during the stage.

The duo swiftly carried out repairs before nursing their car back to service – a necessary requirement to complete the rally.

Their second-place podium position was safe; equalling their previous best result achieved in Sardinia last season.

“A podium is a fantastic result for me and everyone in the team,” said Paddon.

“We were hoping to have had a less stressful finish to the rally but unfortunately we had some water leaking from the radiator after hitting a wooden post in the stage, which required some quick repairs. Thankfully, we were able to find a temporary fix and get back to service with our second place intact!

The result moves Paddon into fourth equal on the WRC drivers’ championship points-table and also marks the second consecutive podium finish for the New Generation Hyundai i20 WRC car to score 18 important manufacturer points for the team, who are now just five points off leaders Volkswagen Motorsport.

“Late drama aside, we have had a good weekend and I have felt very comfortable in the New Generation i20 WRC,” said Paddon.

“We made the most of our road position when we had to, and refused to get drawn into a fight for the lead. In the future, we will fight more for the win but there’s a bit more work needed on my driving and on the car set-up. We’re not far away and, for now, we’ll happily take second place.”

Out front, Ogier claimed full points after winning the rally outright and also the final Power Stage to start the 14 round season with his second-straight win after his victory at Rallye Monte Carlo.

“Two wins from the first two rallies, it can’t get any better,” said Ogier.

“Yesterday was a little bit too crazy and I took risks like I had never done in my life.”

The WRC heads to gravel for the first time next month when León hosts Rally Mexico on 3 – 6 March.

 

RESULTS: Rally Sweden 

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 1h59m47.4s
2 Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai +0:29.8s
3 Mads Ostberg M-Sport World Rally Team Ford +0:55.6s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen +1:10.8s
5 Ott Tanak DMACK World Rally Team Ford +1:50.7s
6 Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai +2:24.0s
7 Henning Solberg Adapta Motorsport Ford +2:40.0s
8 Craig Breen Abu Dhabi Total WRT Citroen +2:44.6s
9 Elfyn Evans M-Sport World Rally Team Ford +5:17.0s
10 Teemu Suninen Team Oreca Skoda +5:31.6s

 

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastien Ogier 56
2 Andreas Mikkelsen 33
3 Mads Ostberg 27
4 Hayden Paddon 18
5 Dani Sordo 18

 

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Driver Points
1 Volkswagen Motorsport 54
2 Hyundai Motorsport 49
3 Volkswagen Motorsport II 30
4 M-Sport World Rally Team 27
5 DMACK World Rally Team 18

 

VIDEO: Final Stage highlights

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