Kiwi Hayden Paddon's frustrating start to the World Rally Championship has continued after a slow roll on Rally Argentina has seen him fall to seventh at the end of the first full day.

Paddon's mishap took place on the day's first stage and he dropped nearly three minutes as a result although his Hyundai i20 was able to continue with minimal damage. The 30-year-old got a break-through WRC win in Argentina 12 months ago but will now turn his attention to making up some spots and getting a good haul of championship points but any chance of defending is title appears over.

Paddon did go on to win one of the day's latter stages proving his speed on the gravel surface.

The rally has been thrown wide open after trouble struck some of the main contenders while championship leader Sebastien Ogier has struggled with being the first car on the road and acting as a road sweep for the cars that followed.

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Brit Elfyn Evans leads the rally by 55.7s in his DMACK Ford having won five stages during the day. He is well-poised for a serious crack at a maiden WRC win over the next two days.

His lower running spot helped as his Ford found more grip than some of his rivals but he will run first on Sunday's stages.

Norwegian privateer Mads Ostberg is second also in a Ford while Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville is third.

Ogier is fourth just in front of his M-Sport Ford teammate Ott Tanak and Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.

Citroen drivers Kris Meeke and Craig Breen, Hyundai's Dani Sordo and Toyota's Juho Hanninen all failed to make it through the day.

ROTORUA DAILY POST | Sport
27 Apr, 2017 2:34pm
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