'It's been a while!' Hayden Paddon claims seventh career podium finish at Rally Turkey

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has earned his first podium finish of the 2018 World Rally Championship season after a clean final day in Turkey.

Paddon and British co-driver Seb Marshall stuck to their game plan of racing a consistent race in the final four stages of Rally Turkey, allowing them to finish in third.

The pair went into the final day with a firm grip on third place - they were nearly a minute behind second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala but ahead of fourth-placed Teemu Suninen by a safe margin of over two minutes.

Paddon said racing with the concept of preserving third place instead of chasing those ahead of him felt like being in no man's land.

"It's a about playing the long game in this rally. When you're in 'no man's land' it can be really hard because you have to look after the car. It can be really painful but it's what you have to do."

The finish is Paddon's seventh on a WRC podium.

"I am really happy to take our first podium of the season. It has been a very tough rally. We have adopted a particular strategy this weekend that has required us to hold back and be patient," he said.

"Thankfully that approach has paid off and we have been rewarded with third place - it's been a while since we've been on the podium."

Paddon is coming to New Zealand for the Ashley Forest Rallysprint in Canterbury next weekend before he returns to Europe for the Wales Rally GB next month.


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