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Paddon battles mechanical problems

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/03/2017

Hayden Paddon and his co-driver John Kennard of New Zealand compete in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC © PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images/Getty Images Hayden Paddon and his co-driver John Kennard of New Zealand compete in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC The mechanical problems dogging Hayden Paddon at Rally Mexico look to have cleared, but the New Zealander has been left with plenty of ground to make up.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard sit fifth after 11 stages of the first gravel WRC event of the season, nearly three minutes down on leader Kris Meeke (Citroen).

After a promising third in the mammoth 54.9km El Chocolate fourth stage, and fifth in the following 19.68km Las Minas, Paddon slipped down the rankings as his Hyundai looked to have lost power.

He lost more than a minute in the 1.1km Guanajuato street stage, with fellow Hyundai i20 competitor Thierry Neuville also struggling.

Overnight work from the Hyundai team isolated blocked fuel filters as the problem, and Paddon shrugged off his 18-13-11 finishes with more competitive results in Sunday's opening stages (NZT).

"At the moment, the guys have done a good job and the problem seems to be solved," he said.

"The car feels comfortable to drive, (we're) just managing the temperatures here and there."

Paddon currently sits ninth in the WRC standings, enduring a tough start to the campaign after being involved in a fatal accident at the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.

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