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Paddon sets Rally Argentina benchmark

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/04/2016

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has set the benchmark during testing at Rally Argentina with the fastest time at the pre-race shakedown.

Paddon was quicker than anyone else by more than a second on his third run through the 6.01km gravel test from Vila Carlos Paz to Cabalango in Cordoba.

But although he stopped the clock 1.3sec clear of Jari-Matti Latvalas, with competition leader Sebastien Ogier a further 0.7sec back, Paddon wasn't about to get too carried away.

"Shakedown wasn't that representative of a lot of the rally. It's quite a slow stage and much of the rally is very fast," Paddon said.

He said the surface was similar but it was difficult to gauge from that how his Hyundai i20 would handle the fast sections.

"You need to be really committed to the pace notes and carry a lot of speed in the fifth and sixth gear corners.

"The surface seems reasonably hard-packed at the moment, but I think we'll find in the second pass it's going to chew up after all the rain they've had and it will become like train tracks with the ruts."

Paddon finished fifth in his last WRC outing last month in Rally Mexico, and after three rallies in the 14-event championship also sits fifth overall.

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