Paddon Leads Day Two in Italy

Hayden Paddon leads the standings after day two of 2015 Rally Italia Sardegna, 8.8 seconds ahead of Sébastien Ogier.

The day started with Martin Prokop in the lead, after his win in yesterday’s SS1. However, he was unable to maintain his lead today and after SS2 he was in 11th position, with Hyundai‘s Hayden Paddon leading Sébastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen.

No-one was able to take the lead from Paddon all day, and after SS3, Jari-Matti Latvala would remain in a safe P2 until SS9.

Kris Meeke was the first driver to have problems, going off the road in SS2 and ending his day far too early due to a broken rear-left suspension. Robert Kubica was the next driver to stop, but for him it was on SS3. Andreas Mikkelsen also hit problems and retired for the day. All three drivers have a big task ahead of them for the next two days.

Dani Sordo went into SS10, the final stage of the day, in 4th position but lost position when he lost a wheel: “We hit something in the side of a very slow corner and it took the wheel off. Really bad luck.”

Paddon’s lead was very strong, and up to 20 seconds at one point, but after SS10, Ogier had reduced it to 8.8 seconds. Could he be in the lead after tomorrow?

With a total time of 1:35.08.5, Paddon leads Ogier. Latvala is next, 25.8 seconds down on the leader. Next are Ott Tänak and Mads Østberg. Hyundai teammates Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo are 6th and 7th, with today certainly being a good one for the team. Rounding out the top 10 are Martin Prokop, Lorenzo Bertelli and Elfyn Evans.

“We were a little lucky,” commented Paddon. “We had a problem with the left rear tyre or the suspension – I don’t know exactly what – and on every left-hand corner we went wide and sideways. At one point we hit a bank and from then we backed off – and we lost a lot of time.”

“It’ll be tough [to defend our lead tomorrow]. Many drivers know tomorrow’s stages well, but we’ll have a road position advantage again, so we’ll see if we can make the most of it again.”