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Pro­duc­ing his best fin­ish of the 2018 World Rally Cham­pi­onship ( WRC) sea­son, Hay­den Paddon ped­alled his way to sec­ond at Coffs Har­bour, Aus­tralia, last month. The re­sult is the best that the Kiwi driver has achieved since do­ing the same in Poland back in July last year. Paddon laid out a solid drive all week­end, de­spite the wet weather on Sun­day caus­ing a few dra­mas, see­ing 32.5 sec­onds shy of Toyota’s vic­to­ri­ous Jari-Matti Lat­vala. Nor­we­gian driver Mads Øst­berg came in 19.7 sec­onds be­hind Paddon to tie off the top three.

Of the win, Paddon said, “Yes! [I’m] re­ally happy with this P2. We worked hard all week­end and felt great in the car. Made even more spe­cial by the amount of Kiwi sup­port we had here. [It] was unreal — thanks every­one!”

In an­other state­ment, Paddon said, “This al­ways feels good — hope­fully we’ll get to do more of this next year.”

Fel­low Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville failed to fin­ish af­ter clip­ping a tree, with three stages re­main­ing. M-Sport’s Sébastien Ogier snuck into fifth place to clinch his sixth straight WRC ti­tle with one round to spare.

Paddon’s WRC ca­reer is cur­rently on standby while every­one awaits con­fir­ma­tion of who will drive for Hyundai next sea­son — if the rest of the team’s sea­son fin­ishes are any­thing to go by, Hyundai would do well to keep Paddon on to once more pro­duce the re­sults that he has this sea­son.

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