18 Feb 2015

Paddon finishes 5th in Sweden

1:17 pm on 18 February 2015

The New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon has finished fifth in Rally Sweden, his best result in the World Rally Championship.

Hayden Paddon (NZ) Hyundai I20 WRC

Hayden Paddon (NZ) Hyundai I20 WRC Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 27-year-old, who was promoted to one of Hyundai's top factory cars following an injury to Spaniard Dani Sordo, climbed one spot on the final day.

Paddon, who finished three and a half minutes behind the winner Sebastien Ogier of France in a Volkswagen, says it was a tough rally in the snow.

Double world champion Ogier, trailed Belgium's Thierry Neuville and Norway's Andreas Mikkelsen going into the final day of action but drove superbly to take the victory.

Hyundai i20 driver Neuville suffered with intercom problems on the day's first stage and lost time when he drove into a snowbank. He ended up 6.4 seconds behind Ogier, with Norway's Mikkelsen coming third.

Mikkelsen looked to be heading for victory in the final stage before clipping a bank and losing nearly 43 seconds.

Ogier, who is hunting a third consecutive global crown, now has a 23-point lead over both Neuville and Mikkelsen in the standings.

The third race of the season is the Rally of Mexico in early March.

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