Paddon finishes eighth in WRC's Rally Poland
Timaru's Hayden Paddon is happy after finishing eighth in the World Rally Championship's event in Poland overnight.
Sebastien Ogier took out the rally and takes a massive 50-point lead into the second half of the championship.
Ogier was fastest on 10 of the 22 stages, beating home Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen by 1 minute 07 seconds to record his 21st career victory.
Paddon finished 4m 32s behind Ogier and scored four championships point for eighth, his first for new team Hyundai Motorsport, in his second event of 2014.
The 27-year-old Paddon said he learnt a lot about his driving and where he needed to improve.
''On different stages I was trying some slightly different techniques - some which did and didn't work, but this is all part of the learning process.
''To also get so close to a stage win (he missed out by 0.7s on stage 3) was both a pleasant surprise but also a little frustrating to know it was so close.''
Paddon's speed throughout the weekend was much closer to both the leaders and his teammates.
''Some stages where the road was smoother and more flowing, we were competitive. However, when the road becomes a little more technical this is where we are currently losing time.''
Paddon was also pleased to have closed the gap to his experienced teammate Thierry Neuville, who finished third, to an average of 0.5 seconds per kilometre.
The Timaru Herald