VIDEO | WRC – Ogier wins but Paddon steals the day

WRC | 2015 World Rally Championship – Rally of Italy Sardegna | Day 3

Written and Images by – Michael Vettas | Images by – André Lavadinho – @tWorld

The final day of an eventful Rally Sardinia and one of the most destructive events on the calendar saw Hayden Paddon lead a rally for the first time. Disaster struck yesterday afternoon when the New Zealand driver hit a large rock resulting in a broken gearbox before toppling down the leader board.

Four stages remained and Ogier now leading the rally was in a commanding position to take his fourth win of the season.

His lead over Paddon had now increased to 2min 13.6 sec with Ostberg in third a further 1min 12sec behind with Thierry Neuville in fourth and Elfyn Evans in fifth.

Paddon managed to take another stage win in the morning knocking 2sec off Ogier lead in the process although time was running short of him snatching his maiden win in WRC.

The next stage was the first run of Cala Flumini and would become the Power Stage of the event which had Ogier extended his lead by a further 4sec.

With a significant lead, Ogier simply needed to finish the Power Stage to take home the win, even a puncture would see him come home in first position.

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Italia Sardegna (ITA) -  WRC 11/06/2015 to 14/06/2015 - PHOTO :  @WorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Italia Sardegna (ITA) -  WRC 11/06/2015 to 14/06/2015 - PHOTO :  @WorldAndreas Mikkelsen (NOR)/Ola Floene(NOR)-Volkswagen Polo WRCFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Italia Sardegna (ITA) -  WRC 11/06/2015 to 14/06/2015 - PHOTO :  @WorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Italia Sardegna (ITA) -  WRC 11/06/2015 to 14/06/2015 - PHOTO :  @World

Paddon set his sights on the second step of the podium being 1min and 30sec ahead of his nearest rival Neuville who was catapulted to the final step on the podium when Ostberg suffered brake failure.

The end result of Rally Sardinia was Ogier in 1st, Hayden 2nd and Neuville in 3rd.

An excited Sébastien Ogier looked exhausted after a gruelling rally “The win here on Sardinia was very important in our fight for the world championship. We now have a big lead over our rivals.”

“The decisive factor for our success was that Julien (co-pilot) and I were in perfect harmony this weekend, this has been the most physically demanding rally of the season and I’m proud of this success in Italy.”

However Ogier’s success unarguably overshadowed by Paddon’s new found form, taking out second place and received cheers and congratulations from everyone.

An adulated Paddon said “To finish on the podium is an absolutely amazing feeling, we had a strong weekend from the start but we knew it would get tougher once we lost the start position advantage.”

Paddon was already looking towards the next round saying “To hold our own against the World Champion was just fantastic, let’s hope this is the start of more results to come.”

Thierry Neuville had a troubled start to the rally so a third place was a welcome reward, “These Sardinian stages are demanding, rough and tough on the car, it hasn’t been an easy weekend so to come away with a podium result is absolutely great.”

At the end of a long week in Italy, Ogier extends his lead in the championship while a new name, Hayden Paddon enters the leader board.

1. OGIER     4:18:38.4

2. PADDON  +2:34.1

3. NEUVILLE+1:31.2

4. EVANS     +1:16.7

5. OSTBERG+1:34.0

The 2015 World Rally Championship Leader Board

1. Ogier       133

2. Østberg   67

3. Mikkelsen          64

4. Latvala    56

5. Evans      53

Ogier looks to have an insurmountable lead at the top of the leader board with only 20 points separating second to seventh position in the championship.

Join us LIVE for the next WRC round in Poland, the LOTOS 72nd Rally Poland.

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