Engine misfire forces Paddon to retire on day two
An engine misfire has bundled Kiwi Hayden Paddon out of day two of the Rally Italia Sardegna overnight.
Paddon had climbed into the top 10 overall but had to stop in the final stage to avoid further damage to their misfiring engine, which was running on three cylinders after a water splash.
The 27-year-old from Geraldine is on his debut event with Hyundai Motorsport in the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.
Sebastien Ogier will take a 1 minute 40 second lead into the final day after he forced his way past Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala on yesterday's final stage.
Paddon was allocated a time of the leader's time plus ten minutes.
The team is confident of getting Paddon and Blenheim co-driver John Kennard back into the event under Rally 2 regulations, for the final day, 46.84 kilometres broken into four stages.
Paddon said the rally was always about learning and it has been a valuable day for him in that regard.
''We had an OK morning but it was a bit slippery as a result of our starting position.We just concentrated on making improvements to the car and improving my own driving on these tough stages."
Paddon said they made some changes to improve turn-in but their pace notes didn't really give them the confidence they needed.
''We made a few changes at lunchtime service and it was a definite improvement but unfortunately we couldn't complete the final stage.''
Team principal Michel Nandan said Paddon's day had been largely a positive.
''I always maintain that we were competing this year to learn and to improve; today shows just how important that approach is. It is obviously a shame that Hayden had to stop in the final stage because, like (team mate) Thierry [Neuville], we had made some good improvements to the Hyundai i20 WRC cars during the day.''
Nandan said Paddon reported a misfire going through the water splash and they felt it was safer to stop the car in the stage rather than risk the engine further so they could restart.
Both cars were hindered by their starting positions and had to cope with some tough conditions but Neuville felt they approached the day intelligently.
The team has three hours to work on Paddon's car before he will know whether he can compete tonight.
- The Timaru Herald