Dale Budge is a sports writer for the NZ Herald.

Motorsport: Paddon sixth as Evans holds lead

Hayden Paddon in action during Rally Mexico. Photo / Getty Images
Hayden Paddon in action during Rally Mexico. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon holds down sixth spot after day two of Rally Argentina while Brit Elfyn Evans is closing in on a maiden WRC win.

Paddon's first day roll eliminated the Hyundai driver from being able to win the rally but he has made steady progress since and should bank some championship points if he can safely navigate tomorrow's three stages.

Evans dominated the opening day in his DMACK Ford, taking advantage of his lower road position and the added grip to storm to the front. He wasn't as dominant on day two but still holds a lead of 11.5 seconds overnight.

If he can protect that advantage tomorrow the Welshman will record a stunning rally win at the venue where Paddon got his break-through win a year ago.

Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville holds second place while M-Sport Ford driver Ott Tanak is a further 15.3 seconds back in third. Both drivers took time out of Evans' lead late in the day.

Four-time world champion Sebastien Ogier is fourth in the second M-Sport Ford 49.9 seconds adrift of the rally lead while Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala is fifth.

Paddon is over four minutes behind Evans and three minutes shy of fifth-placed Latvala. He lost nearly three minutes with the roll and was also given a minute time penalty for being late to a control.

His best chance of improving is safely getting to the finish and hoping others in front run into problems as well as attacking tomorrow's final power stage with bonus championship points up for grabs.

- NZ Herald

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