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Paddon struggles to sixth in French rally

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/09/2016

New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon has endured a frustrating first day to be sixth in the Rally of France in Corsica.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard failed to get the best out of their Hyundai through four stages to sit nearly a minute and a half behind World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Ogier.

The Frenchman made a perfect start, winning each stage to open up a 44sec lead on Belgian Thierry Neuville, a teammate of Paddon's.

The Kiwi said technical problems bugged his car, leaving him relatively pleased not to have lost too much ground.

Paddon was third overall coming into the 11th leg of the 14-round WRC.

He and Kennard were fifth last year on the tarmac-based rally on the island of Corsica.

There are four stages of similar length on Saturday followed by two closing stages a day later.

Ogier can claim a fourth world title with a victory at his home rally if other results go his way.

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