Hyundai's Haydon Paddon says it is an "amazing feeling" to have taken his maiden WRC podium finish on Rally Italia Sardegna.

Paddon put in a sensational performance over the three-day event and led for 15 stages until he hit trouble on Saturday afternoon.

While he feared it was all over after clobbering a rock in SS18, he managed to continue and then set his fourth fastest time of the event on Sunday en-route to a richly deserved second place in his Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC.

Related Articles

"To finish on the podium is an absolutely amazing feeling. Words can't really do justice to how I'm feeling right now," said Paddon, who made a little bit of history on Friday, by becoming the first Kiwi to lead a World Rally Championship event outside New Zealand.

"We had a strong weekend from the start but we just tried to take each stage as it came without looking too much at the timesheets. We knew it would get tougher once we lost the start position advantage so the fact we could hold our own against the World Champion - Sebastien Oger - was just fantastic.

"We had our issues on Saturday afternoon, and thought that was the rally over, but thankfully we pushed on through, kept digging deep and made it through the Sunday in a comfortable second.

"Considering our buffer to [team-mate] Thierry [Neuville] in third, we took today very easily, not taking any risks and we have a debut podium as a reward.

"It's been great to have such support from back home and I'm sorry they've had some late nights. I hope it's been as worthwhile for them as it has been for us.

"We couldn't have done this without the team, so my thanks to everyone at Hyundai Motorsport, too. Let's hope this is the start of more results to come."