Hayden Paddon crash halts Monte Carlo Rally's opening stage

The opening stage of the 2017 World Rally Championship has been cancelled after Hayden Paddon crashed his Hyundai i20 WRC in Monte Carlo

Hayden Paddon crash halts Monte Carlo Rally's opening stage

The Kiwi was almost at the end of the Entrevaux-Val de Chalvagne-Ubraye stage when he lost control of the car under braking for a slippery left hand corner usually taken in second or third gear.

The car slid wide and went rear-first up a bank, causing damage on the rear right quarter.

It came to rest on its side in the middle of the stage, forcing organisers to halt the action.

Hyundai has reported that Paddon and co-driver Jonathan Kennard are unhurt but Autosport understands a spectator may have been involved in the incident.

Dani Sordo got through to the finish - as had Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville - but the cars behind, which included Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tanak, Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre, were all stopped on the stage and then sent through at road pace.

Neuville was quickest on the stage at the time of the incident, after early pacesetter Ogier had lost four seconds through the final split.

Sordo was delayed behind his Hyundai team-mate's crash.

News is awaited on how those delayed or unable to contest the stage will be awarded times.

Elfyn Evans - returning to the top class in the WRC in 2017 with the M-Sport-run DMACK team - was sat on the startline just about to head onto the stage before the incident.

Crews will now proceed straight to the second and last of the Thursday night stages.

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