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Paddon third-quickest in opening stage

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/05/2017

Hayden Paddon and his World Rally Championship team have enjoyed a promising start to the latest round.

Paddon is third overall after the short first stage of the Rally of Portugal in Lousada, while Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville topped the time sheet.

With Briton Sebastian Marshall in the co-driver's seat for the first time, Paddon took 2 minutes 36.7 seconds to complete the 3.36km course.

Just 2sec separated the first 11 cars.

Paddon is looking to revive a season which has stuttered through the first five rounds, leaving him in a share of seventh.

Marshall, who will become Paddon's full-time co-driver later in the year, is filling in this week for injured Kiwi John Kennard.

The longest day of the four-day rally is on Friday, comprising eight stages.

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