29 Jul 2017

Paddon hit by bad luck again

10:37 am on 29 July 2017

Bad luck continues to haunt New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon in this year's WRC championship.

Hayden Paddon at Rally Finland 2017

Hayden Paddon at Rally Finland 2017 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Paddon is out of contention at Rally Finland after going wide at a corner on stage 4 and breaking the suspension in his Hyundai.

Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall started strongly.

Sixth in the opening super special stage in host city Jyväskylä, the pair charged into today's massive 12-stage itinerary with a very close third fastest time in SS2.

Fourth quickest in SS3 by only 0.6 seconds to the quickest on that stage, Jari-Matti Latvala, Paddon and Marshall were just 1.1 seconds off the lead of the rally going into SS4.

But the smallest of, the crew ran wide and hit a rock. The resulting rear-right suspension damage forced them to end the day early, but they will return under Rally 2 on Saturday.

Paddon said: "It wasn't the start for the rally we were looking for, but we went out this morning wanting to push and be up the front and we were able to do that for the first couple of stages, being competitive with the local drivers and fighting for a podium."

"Unfortunately we ran just a little bit wide on a fast left hander and hit a rock that was in a ditch. This caused too much damage to the suspension to allow us to continue. I think we were a little bit unfortunate to pick up the damage we did, a bit of continuation of the bad luck we've had this year."

"But nevertheless we know the speed was there, the car's been easily able to be repaired and we'll be able to re-join for tomorrow, to go back out there and try and set some competitive times, build and develop for the future. It's certainly not a loss. There's a lot of rallying left yet and we've just got to stay positive and keep pushing forward."

Paddon and Marshall will re-start on Saturday under Rally 2 regulations which allows them to continue but with significant time penalties.

Crews tackle a total of eight stages run over a distance of 132.34km, divided into four separate stages, each repeated in the afternoon but run in a different order from one pass to the next.