Saturday | 23 Apr 2016

SS10: Paddon blitzes rivals in Saturday's opener

Hyundai’s Haydon Paddon delivered a strong message to his Volkswagen rivals as he regained second place at YPF Rally Argentina with fastest time in Saturday morning’s opening speed test.

Stage info: SS10

Villa Bustos - Tanti 1, 19.71km
It starts on a wide, good-surfaced, fast road with some big corners that demand bravery. However, from 12.30km the road narrows and becomes twisty and rougher, with a couple of water splashes which caught out Andreas Mikkelsen last year.

The Kiwi was 2.1sec quicker than leader Jari-Matti Latvala from Villa Bustos to Tanti and 7.7sec ahead of Sébastien Ogier, relegating the Frenchman to third and reducing the margin to Latvala to 9.3sec.

Paddon and Ogier fought tooth and nail yesterday afternoon and this was the fourth consecutive stage in which the pair swapped positions in the overall standings.

“I enjoyed that! I’m over-driving in a few places and lost two or three seconds here and there but I need to make the most of the advantage I have,” said Paddon, whose lower start position ensured cleaner conditions in comparison to road opener Ogier.

Latvala was also impressed by Paddon’s performance. “I had a really good stage, only a couple of places where I could improve. That time from Hayden was amazing,” said the Finn.

Seventh-placed Henning Solberg dropped time with a power steering problem in his Ford Fiesta RS while Ott Tänak, returning under Rally 2 regulations after retiring yesterday, had to cope with the distraction of his side window flapping open.

Also unhappy was Lorenzo Bertelli who was back after retiring yesterday with a turbo problem. All was not well as repairs were not completed until this morning and now the Italian had no engine response, believing the anti-lag system was not working.

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