Kiwi World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon sits ninth going into the final day of Rally Germany, despite unknowingly battling engine issues for the whole of the second day.
The Geraldine driver is 4min 34sec behind world champion and rally leader Sebastien Ogier after 17 of the 21 stages of the rally around the Mosel River valley vineyards’ tarmac roads.
On Sunday morning (NZ time) Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were stymied by a turbo-related technical issue which slowed them on every stage of the event’s longest day.
“It’s been a difficult afternoon,” Paddon said after recording just one stage time in the top six.
“Unfortunately we’ve had some small issues with the turbo which cost us a bit of power and unfortunately cost us a lot of time.
“Nevertheless we’ve been able to hold our position in the top ten. The boys will able to fix the problem tonight and we’ll come out tomorrow to try and show a lot more competitive times which I know we can do.
“We’ve been making some steps forward with the driving and setup but because of these other issues, that hasn’t shown in the times. Tomorrow’s another day, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Paddon’s Hyundai team-mates Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville hold fourth and fifth places respectively, and are involved in a tight battle as they both look to secure top-five finishes and vital manufacturer’s points for the team.
Paddon has very little World Rally Championship experience on tarmac and was not expected to perform on German roads, though he said on Saturday morning that he did not like being slower than Sordo and Neuville.
“It’s a bitter pill after we’ve been competing for top-fives in recent rallies but we’ll persevere,” he said.
Sunday night’s (NZ time) schedule consists of a repeated loop of two stages with a total special stage distance of 67.34km.