Kiwi Hayden Paddon has crashed out on the opening stage of the Monte Carlo Rally while teammate Thierry Neuville leads the way after the first two stages.

Paddon lost control of his new Hyundai i20 on some black ice and slid off the road, which resulted in a spectator being injured. The car ended up on its side, blocking the road, which promted rally organisers to cancel the stage.

After a delay, the second stage got underway in tough conditions where Paddon's Hyundai teammate Neuville proved the quickest and finished as the overnight leader.

The Belgian won the second stage by 7.8 seconds from four-time world champion Sebastien Ogier. Frenchman Ogier was making his debut for the M-Sport Ford team.


Finland's Juho Hanninen gave Toyota a big boost in the Japanese manufacturer's return to the World Rally Championship by posting the third fastest time.

Kris Meeke was fourth in the first of the Citroen C3s with Estonian Ott Tanak fifth in the second M-Sport Ford.

News around the condition of the spectator is not yet known nor whether Paddon will re-enter the rally tomorrow.

Day 1 standings
Thierry Neuville (Hyundai)
Sebastien Ogier (Ford) +7.8s
Juho Hanninen (Toyota) + 15.0s
Kris Meeke (Citroen) +15.8s
Ott Tanak (Ford) +19.4
Elfyn Evans (Ford) +21.0s
Craig Breen (Citroen) +25.4s
Dani Sordo (Hyundai) +26.6s
Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) +28.4s
Andreas Mikkelsen (Skoda WRC2) +58.4s