Hayden Paddon finishes eighth at Rally Finland

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 09:14 04/08/2014
Hayden Paddon
Photo Supplied/Honza Fronek
ON TRACK: Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon on his way to eighth place at Rally Finland despite a power steering issue.

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Geraldine's Hayden Paddon put in another solid performance in finishing Rally Finland in eighth place despite a power steering issue on the final three stages.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were in their third FIA World Rally Championship event with Hyundai Motorsport and eighth matched their effort in Poland but it could have been much better.

The power steering problems on Sunday prevented them from maintaining their excellent run of form and they dropped back at the end of the 26-stage rally.

Finn Jari-Matti Latvala kept his nerve to claim a thrilling first home victory as he held off charging Volkswagen team-mate Sébastien Ogier to win by 3.6 seconds. 

Latvala dominated most of the four-day rally but a brake problem on the last day threw his win into doubt. 

Paddon finished 6 minutes 17.8 seconds behind the winner but added a further four championship points to his tally.

The Kiwis enjoyed their most competitive rally in their Hyundai i20 with two fourth-fastest stage times on Friday morning and they held a strong sixth place overall after Saturday's 10 stages.

Paddon said it was certainly not the way he wanted to end the rally with power steering failure which meant he lost a lot of time and dropped back down to eighth.

''Precisely what you don't need when tackling the fast stages in Finland - I certainly felt it in my arms at the end of special stage 25.

''We knew we were going to lose places in the battle for sixth place but we weren't going to throw anything away. We took no risks and just brought the car home.''

Paddon said all in all it had been a very positive weekend. 

''We showed some good speed and were able to match our team-mates throughout the rally which is a pleasant surprise. 

''Certainly, it's very positive moving forward."

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