New Zealand's Hayden Paddon was eyeing the chance to take over as series leader in the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship after an outstanding day in France yesterday.
Paddon extended his lead to almost two minutes by the end of the second day of the Rallye de France Alsace.
Driving a Skoda Fabia Super 2000, he won both the morning stages and was able to cruise through the afternoon, winning three of the four stages, as his rivals experienced troubles.
Sweden's Per-Gunnar Andersson took an eight-point lead over Paddon into this event but struck major problems yesterday - spinning, getting a puncture and then having alternator issues. He was set to bounce back and contest the final day but Paddon had a grand opportunity to strike.
Ireland's Craig Breen, another of Paddon's main opponents, dropped off the pace with rear differential problems.
"John (Kennard, co-driver) and I were able back off a little and take it easy throughout the rest of the afternoon. We just kept the car in the middle of the road and took extra caution on the dirty sections," Paddon said.
"Despite our lead we still need to drive at a comfortable pace and not make any mistakes. That is our only priority now as this result would be the perfect outcome.
"Nevertheless, we are not going to count our chickens before they hatch. Just more of the same tomorrow, more time to get used to the car and maybe learn some more things about tarmac driving."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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