11 Jun 2016

Paddon out of second rally in a row

11:13 am on 11 June 2016

New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon has had another disappointing end on the World Rally Championship circuit.

New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon.

New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Paddon, who had to retire from the Rally of Portugal last month after his car caught fire, has had to retire at the Rally Italia Sardegna after rolling on the final corner of stage seven.

The 29-year-old had hoped to rejoin the rally tomorrow but his brand-new Hyundai i20 WRC car too damaged to be repaired by the team overnight

"Obviously it's very disappointing to end the rally in this fashion," said Paddon from the rally's service park in the coastal resort town of Alghero in the north-west of Sardinia.

"I can only say that I'm sorry to the team. It was another very silly mistake," he said, referencing the incident which took the New Zealand pairing out of the previous event in Portugal where, following a small error, their car burned to the ground.

"We were just trying to have a clean afternoon after the problems we were having in the morning. We were going at a good speed, but just got caught out by doing too wide on the tarmac for the last left-hand corner of stage seven. We got sucked into the gravel and couldn't turn the car in and then we were a passenger from there."

The car rolled down a slope, causing considerable damage the rear.

"It's a very hard pill to swallow to have two rallies in a row end like this from very silly mistakes. Okay, I'm sure we'll come back stronger and we'll sit down and go through things substantially to learn from this and to be stronger in the future, but this is not what I expect of myself and we need to be better; we will make sure we come back stronger."

Earlier on Friday, Paddon and Kennard started the day's scheduled eight stages strongly with a second quickest time through SS2. Then a spin in SS4 saw them hit a wall in the resulting cloud of dust which broke a rear toe-arm.

They were able to replace the rear suspension during the touring stage to SS5, and then bounced back to the top of the stage times with a third quickest time. Following the midday service, Paddon and Kennard also secured the third-fastest time on stage six.