Hayden Paddon relishing straight WRC fight with Sebastien Ogier

Rally Argentina winner Hayden Paddon says he relishes the chance to take World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier on in a straight fight at this week's Rally of Portugal

Hayden Paddon relishing straight WRC fight with Sebastien Ogier

The Hyundai driver bagged his first WRC win from a preferential place on the road in South America last month, but this week he runs second on Friday and Saturday - directly behind the dominant, championship-leading Frenchman.

Paddon said running further up the order held no fears for him.

"I really enjoy being first on the road," he said.

"Yes, you are sweeping the gravel, but at the same time you are controlling things and you get to drive to the line that you want to drive, rather than having that line dictated by who has gone and swept the road before.

"I don't have a problem with being further up on the road.

"It's a challenge, but it's a good challenge: if you're there it means you're doing something right, it means you've scored a lot of points in the championship - that can't be a bad thing!"

Paddon and Ogier clashed over the current running order regulations in Argentina, with the world champion hoping to garner support for what he feels would be a more level playing field next season.

DAVID EVANS: Why an explosive Ogier is good for the WRC

He got no support from Paddon and the Kiwi's feelings remain the same.

"Obviously, I have a lot of respect for Seb as a driver - he's the ultimate benchmark," said Paddon.

"But he's also a human being and we're all the same: no better and no worse.

"I stand up for what I believe in and I always will, I'm not prepared to just follow if I don't agree and feel strongly about something.

We're not all going to have the same opinion."

Paddon added that the psychological side of the contest was an important part of the battle.

"I enjoy the mind games side of things, but that's all put to one side when the helmet comes on - then we're focused on just one thing," he said.

"The objective is to challenge for the podium. We still have some work to do, we know that.

"The short-term goal is to be as close to Sebastien as possible and is reasonable given the position on the road.

"We're looking to challenge, this is the position we want to be in."

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