Electrical faults have short-circuited Hayden Paddon’s challenge early on in Rally Portugal after he briefly took the lead on the second day.
Competing in the first full day of the Portugal leg of the World Rally Championship, the Kiwi and new co-driver Sebastian Marshall mixed the good with the bad to slip back to 24th overall.
They demonstrated great pace with two stage wins, but were hampered by electrical issues on the third stage and then again, much more severely, on special stage seven.
Having started Friday’s (European time) itinerary of eight stages second overall following a good run in Thursday’s opening 3.36km super special, Paddon took the overall rally lead with his win in the first stage of the day.
But then bad luck struck again for the New Zealand rally star.
“Certainly, a case of what could have been again,” Paddon said afterwards. “Today’s certainly been a very positive day for the future anyway, with the changes we made before the rally, everything was working a lot better in the car and the setup.
“The confidence was good so we were able to set some fastest stage times. We had a small electrical problem on the morning loop which cost us seven seconds but, other than that, it was all going to plan.”
Then came the major turn for the worse…