Quick start for Hayden Paddon
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By Colin Smith
Hayden Paddon has started his WRC Rally Australia campaign this morning with fourth fastest time in the opening special stage.
With the road surface being swept of loose gravel it was Paddon’s Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo (Spain) – running in the eighth position in the start order - who set fastest time in the opening 7.88km Utungun stage to the south-west of Coffs Harbour.
Sordo clocked 4m 59.4s for the short stage which began with a 1.2km tarmac section. Volkswagen’s Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) trailed Sordo by 0.7secs with Ford Fiesta driver Ott Tanak (Estonia) another 0.1secs back.
Paddon’s stage time was 5m 01.0s, giving him a 0.4secs advantage over Citroen’s Kris Meeke with Volkswagen’s Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) and world champion Sebastien Ogier (France) being next fastest.
Stage two is now underway.