8 Oct 2018

Paddon finishes muddy WRC in seventh

6:55 am on 8 October 2018

Hayden Paddon and British co-driver Seb Marshall wrapped up Wales Rally GB in seventh place, the overall position they've held for much of the 11th round of the Championship.

New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon

New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon Photo: © Marcin Rybak: Rallyart Photo 2018

Sunday's final five stages unusually included the power stage as the day's second test where Paddon was sixth fastest by just 0.3 seconds, missing a bonus point for fifth quickest.

Only the top 14 cars in the field of 59 entries were permitted to complete the final stage of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB which was delayed and then shortened following an incident unrelated to the rally near to the finish of SS23 Great Orme Llandudno.

The closeness of the times carried through into the rally overall, with just 15 seconds between Hyundai motorsport team-mate Thierry Neuville in fifth and Mads Ostberg in eighth after 317.74 kilometres of rallying through northern and mid-Wales over three days.

Generally Paddon and Marshall had a clean run through Sunday's stages, with Paddon saying everything needed to be perfect to be further up the leader-board, given the intensity of competition.

"We took some fastest splits and top-three stage times on Saturday, and generally found comfort in the car. This morning's stages were incredibly slippery, we couldn't read the grip and the pace notes weren't optimal," says Paddon

"With only 15 seconds between fourth and eighth, it was a close fight. We will now prepare for our final WRC event of the season in Australia, determined to finish the season on a high."

The World Rally Championship heads to Spain next with Dani Sordo taking the wheel of the #6 car for his home event.

Paddon wraps up his 2018 WRC competition at Rally Australia 15-18 November, having first returned home to compete in the final New Zealand Rally Championship round, the Raglan Rally of the Coast, on 13 October.