WRC Rally Italy: Hayden Paddon widens lead as rivals hit trouble

Hayden Paddon has extended his Rally Italy lead to 9.2 seconds over Ott Tanak, after former challenger Thierry Neuville hit trouble on the last stage of the morning

WRC Rally Italy: Hayden Paddon widens lead as rivals hit trouble

The order through Saturday's early stages remained relatively similar to how things were left on Friday night, with Neuville the main threat to Paddon's lead thanks to a rapid time through SS11 that brought the gap was down to 8.9s from over 13s.

But the Belgian, Paddon's Hyundai team-mate, had no brakes from the start of the Monte Lerno stage that rounded out the morning and lost significant time.

He ends the morning loop 1m10.7s off the lead and has fallen to fourth place.

M-Sport's Tanak was promoted to second as a result and duly went quickest on the last stage of the morning to make sure Paddon is still being kept in check, with the Kiwi struggling with his tyres going off in Monte Lerno.

Jari-Matti Latvala lies third, but demanded that the event organisers award him some time back after he was caught in the dust of the punctured Mads Ostberg.

Latvala has dropped nine seconds to Tanak and sits 13.8s behind the Estonian in the order.

Behind Neuville in fifth is Juho Hanninen who was also promoted on the last stage of the morning as championship leader Sebastien Ogier also collected a puncture, after overtaking Hanninen on the previous stage.

Ogier therefore falls to seventh, with Hanninen's team-mate Esapekka Lappi also moving ahead of the four-time champion and into sixth.

Ostberg is eighth after his problems, while Andreas Mikkelsen, one spot behind, also suffered a puncture on the same Monte Lerno stage.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS12:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Hayden Paddon, S.Marshall Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 2h14m10.1s
2 Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 9.4s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala, M.Anttila Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 23.2s
4 Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m10.7s
5 Juho Hanninen, K.Lindstrom Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 1m30.7s
6 Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Toyota 1m55.5s
7 Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3m09.1s
8 Mads Ostberg, O.Floene M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 3m21.4s
9 Andreas Mikkelsen, A.Jager Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 5m50.2s
10 Eric Camilli, B.Veillas M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 7m01.1s


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WRC Rally Italy: Hayden Paddon leads tight pack for Hyundai
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