15 Feb 2016

Paddon finishes second in Sweden

6:56 am on 15 February 2016

The New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon has finished second in Rally Sweden, becoming the first non-European to finish Rally Sweden on the podium.

Hayden Paddon at Rally Sweden.

Hayden Paddon finishes second in Rally Sweden. Photo: Timo Anis Photography

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard successfully completed the only special stage early on the last day, but crossed the finish line with a water leak from the radiator after hitting a wooden post during the stage.

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

Thankfully, their second-place podium position was safe - equalling their previous best result achieved in Sardinia last season - and they could celebrate with the team back in the service park.

Frenchman Sebastian Ogier won in a Volkswagen.

The result moves Paddon into fourth equal on the WRC drivers' championship points-table.

It also marks the second consecutive podium finish for the New Generation Hyundai i20 WRC car to collect 18 important manufacturer points for the team, who are now just five points off leaders Volkswagen Motorsport.

Paddon said a podium was a fantastic result for everyone in the team.

"We were hoping to have had a less stressful finish to the rally ...thankfully, we were able to find a temporary fix and get back to service with our second place intact!"

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

"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."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.