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Facing treacherous conditions on day two of Rally Portugal, Kiwi rally stars Hayden Paddon and John Kennard have had yesterday’s strong start hampered by an electrical fault. Just 1.5 kilometres in the first stage, Paddon’s Skoda stopped. However the New Zealanders will restart the rally for day three, Saturday, European time.
 
“We don’t know the exact cause yet, but we will get the car fixed to rejoin tomorrow under SupeRally rules and therefore get valuable championship points,” says Paddon.
 
“The scenes here in Portugal are unlike any other rally; three of today’s six stages have been cancelled after a lot of overnight rain has caused the roads to be treacherous and many competitors have retired.”
 
Paddon and Kennard finished day one of the three-and-a-half day event with a lead of nearly 25 seconds over closest rival Craig Breen, the current SWRC category leader.
 
Breen has now retired, leaving Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi heading the SWRC category for Portugal. Paddon is now fourth in SWRC, but says “all is not lost yet”.
 
Under the SupeRally regulations, Paddon will still appear on the results table – he will receive a stage time of the fastest competitor in the SWRC class plus five minutes.
 
Rally Portugal organisers have now cancelled half of the day two’s stages for safety reasons due to the extreme wet weather.
 
For day three, Saturday, Paddon and Kennard will tackle a repeated loop of three stages. On Sunday there are six further stages with the final test, the power stage, sure to attract thousands of enthusiastic Portuguese fans.

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