Andersson, who led the title standings by six points, lost time with a puncture during stage two and completed the run with a broken wheel, which has forced him to retire his PROTON Satria-Neo from the opening day of the event.
Paddon, meanwhile, beat Andersson through the first stage by 4.4s but lost more than 12 minutes on the next run with an ignition problem. And in a further blow, the New Zealander’s Skoda Fabia has no working second gear. “What does it take to get a break?” exclaimed Paddon, who retired with engine failure on the previous round in Finland.
With Andersson out and Paddon significantly delayed, rapid Irishman Craig Breen holds the category lead with an advantage of 40.9s over Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi. Welshman Tom Cave, who partners Andersson in the factory PROTON Motorsports team, is third. Cave was unhappy after losing time behind Maciej Oleksowicz when the Pole’s Ford Fiesta S2000 picked up a puncture on stage three.
Breen has won two of the last three stages and could move level on points with Andersson if he wins and the Swede fails to score. British wildcard Alastair Fisher retired his Fiesta with broken front suspension. He had been 9.9s behind Breen when he stopped.