WRC Portugal stewards place Kris Meeke back in rally lead

Kris Meeke has been returned to the Rally of Portugal lead after organisers handed him the fastest time on the stage interrupted by Hayden Paddon's fiery crash

WRC Portugal stewards place Kris Meeke back in rally lead

Hayden Paddon and Ott Tanak crashed on the afternoon's first stage, Ponte de Lima, forcing the organisers to neutralise the test before rally leader Meeke had gone through.

He has subsequently been credited with a time 5.2 seconds faster than anybody else, giving him a 35.2s advantage heading to the street stage that closes Friday's action.

In deciding what time to award Meeke, the organisers turned to article 39 of the WRC's sporting code

It states: "When a special stage is interrupted or stopped for any reason, each crew affected will be allocated by the clerk of the course a time which is judged the fairest.

"However, no crew which is solely or jointly responsible for stopping a stage may benefit from this measure."

Meeke was fastest by 5.6 on the first run of Ponte de Lima in the morning, and it is understood that was the basis of the stewards' estimate.

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Hayden Paddon suffers fiery crash on WRC's Rally of Portugal
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WRC Portugal: Kris Meeke leads into Saturday by half a minute

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