New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon has crashed out of the Rally Italia on Friday (Saturday NZ time), making it the second round in a row he’s failed to finish.
Paddon, in his Hyundai I20, had an accident on stage on Friday, rolled heavily down a hillside, forcing him to retire.
He finished the Super Special Stage the previous day tied for sixth place and before his accident his day was blighted by mechanical problems.
The incident happened towards the end of the seventh stage, Tula 2, coming off the road at the last corner.
No words….incredibly disappointed and sorry that I let everyone down again from another silly mistake,” Paddon wrote on his Facebook page afterwards.
“A serious rethink and reset needed to learn and come back stronger, but I’m the first to admit this isn’t good enough.
“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.”
His team confirmed that the damage to his car is too extensive for him to continue in the rally and he will have to turn his attention to the next round of the World Rally Championships in Poland in July.
Paddon’s team had given him a new car for Rally Italia, after his previous one was burnt out in a spectacular crash in Portugal.
Leading the Rally Italia after two days of action is Thierry Neuville from Belgium, in his Hyundai I20 and holds an 11.1 second lead over Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala, driving a Volkswagen Polo.