Hayden Paddon creates WRC history with podium finish

World champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally of Italy in Sardinia for Volkswagen overnight with New Zealander Hayden Paddon finishing second for his first podium appearance.

Ogier also won the final power stage to collect an additional three bonus points and extend his overall championship lead. It was the Frenchman's fourth win in six races this season.

Belgian Thierry Neuville took third place behind Hyundai team mate Paddon.

Paddon's result was the best ever by a New Zealander in the world rally championship, surpassing the late Peter 'Possum' Bourne's fourth at Rally Australia in 1990.

The Kiwi had been in first place on Friday but relinquished the lead to Ogier on Saturday when he spun and stalled and also hit a rock on the rough and rutted roads of the Mediterranean island.

That feat had made him the first New Zealander to lead a world championship rally outside his home country.