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Paddon crashes out in Sardinia

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/06/2016

Hayden Paddon © Getty images Hayden Paddon Hayden Paddon has been forced out of Rally Italia in Sardinia after crashing on the final corner of the seventh stage.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were breaking in a new car built from scratch after his previous car was destroyed in a fiery crash two weeks ago in Rally Portugal.

Paddon's Hyundai i20 ran wide on the asphalt left-hander of the 15km Tula stage and swiped a tree, which ripped off a rear wheel and sent the car rolling end-over-end down a steep bank.

It came to rest among trees and bushes 25 metres below the road.

"To put it off the road like that, and with such a stupid mistake, is pretty gut-wrenching - especially two rallies in a row," Paddon said.

"Everybody at the team has been very supportive, and to a certain extent it's part of the sport, but I've never crashed twice in a row in my career."

Paddon also apologised to his Hyundai Motorsport crew on Twitter.

"No words ... incredibly disappointed and sorry that I let everyone down again from another silly mistake," he said.

"We will bounce back and I hope this is just a small dip we are going through to help us to be stronger for the future."

Paddon had recorded mixed results before the crash, finishing second on stage two and third in the sixth stage.

But he was well off the pace in the fourth 14km Castelsardo stage, battling through in 23rd place with his rear-right wheel running out of alignment.

Paddon, who recorded a breakthrough win in Rally Argentina in April, currently sits fourth on the overall standings.

Teammate Thierry Neuville leads Rally Italia after nine stages, 11.1sec ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala, with world champion Sebastien Ogier third a further 29.2sec back.

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