Paddon heads tight lead battle into Saturday
WRC Rally Italy

Paddon heads tight lead battle into Saturday

09/06/2017

Hyundai's Hayden Paddon leads Rally Italy overnight, with the top five separated by 14.7 seconds overall in another close World Rally Championship fight.

There were six cars in the battle for the top position, but Juho Hanninen went off on the final stage of the day, SS9 Tergu-Osilo, having started it in second position, 7.9s behind Paddon.

Hanninen will start his Toyota Yaris on Saturday 38s behind Paddon in sixth overall, if the car makes it back to overnight service.

Rally leader Paddon suffered what he believed to be a broken front damper on SS7, and nursed his car back to secure the benefit of the rally lead and a favourable road position overnight.

He leads the rally by 8.2s from team-mate Thierry Neuville, who drove brilliantly as the second car on a very dusty road.

Neuville suffered a puncture on SS7, and managed the rest of the stages without a spare tyre.

M-Sport driver Ott Tanak moved into the podium places by pumping in a rapid stage time on the last test of the day thanks to taking an extra tyre for the loop, meaning his car was heavier but had more grip when his fellow competitors were struggling at the end of the afternoon.

He heads Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala by just 0.3s, the Finn having a much better afternoon than morning, which brought him into contention. He lies 9.8s off the lead, although only 4.9s ahead of Mads Ostberg.

The Norwegian wasn't particularly happy with his afternoon, struggling with the rear end of his privately-entered Ford Fiesta, but the result proved contrary to his thoughts on his progress.

Sebastien Ogier is only seventh, now three seconds behind the delayed Hanninen.

With so many cars retiring on Friday, Ogier will still be relatively close to the front of the running order on Saturday and may have to do some road sweeping.

His opening day was ruined by opening the road, with no major issues with the car or driver.

Recent Toyota newcomer Esapekka Lappi set his first ever WRC fastest time on the morning loop, incredibly after having no second gear for that stage.

He opened the afternoon with two more scratch times, before breaking a damper on the next stage. He still managed second quickest in his Toyota Yaris on the leg's finale and is eighth overnight.

Andreas Mikkelsen continued his tough day of adaptation to the Citroen C3 WRC, driving a 2017-spec WRC car for the first time. It was too tail happy for him when he prefers to drive the car "through the steering wheel".

Rounding out the top 10 is Eric Camilli in his Ford Fiesta R5, although the Frenchman isn't registered for the WRC2 category the car and driver usually compete in.

Instead, Jan Kopecky leads that class in his Skoda Fabia R5, by 52.7s over fellow Skoda driver Ole Christian Veiby.

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22/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
12:30 | Karolina Pliskova v Angelique Kerber - WTA Dubai
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
16:00 | Caroline Garcia v Garbine Muguruza - WTA Dubai
17:00 | Lokomotiv Moskva - Nice
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
19:00 | Sporting - Astana
19:00 | Atletico Madrid - Copenhagen
19:00 | Dynamo Kyiv - AEK Athens
19:00 | Zenit - Celtic
19:00 | RB Leipzig - Napoli
19:00 | Villarreal - Olympique Lyon
19:00 | Viktoria Plzen - Partizan
19:00 | Lazio - FCSB
21:00 | Marin Cilic v Gael Monfils - ATP 500 - Rio Open
21:05 | Atalanta - Borussia Dortmund
21:05 | Athletic Bilbao - Spartak Moskva
21:05 | Salzburg - Real Sociedad
21:05 | Milan - Ludogorets
21:05 | Arsenal - Ostersunds FK
21:05 | Sporting Braga - Olympique Marseille
22:30 | Pablo Andujar v Dominic Thiem - ATP 500 - Rio Open
23/02/2018
02:00 | Frances Tiafoe v Juan Martin Del Potro - ATP 250 - Delray Beach
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
24/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
13:30 | Leicester City - Stoke City
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
15:30 | Bayern Munich - Hertha BSC
16:00 | Liverpool - West Ham United
16:15 | Real Madrid - Alaves
17:00 | Toulouse - Monaco
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
18:30 | Watford - Everton
20:45 | Inter Milan - Benevento
20:45 | Barcelona - Girona
25/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
12:00 | Villarreal - Getafe
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
15:00 | Bordeaux - Nice
15:00 | Sassuolo - Lazio
15:05 | Manchester United - Chelsea
15:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Schalke 04
17:00 | Olympique Lyon - Saint-Etienne
17:30 | Arsenal - Manchester City - Carabao Cup Final
18:00 | Juventus - Atalanta
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
18:30 | Valencia - Real Sociedad
20:45 | Sevilla - Atletico Madrid
20:45 | Roma - Milan
21:00 | PSG - Olympique Marseille
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Manchester United - Chelsea
Derby of the week
15:05
25/02/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.00    
   W 3.80
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
02-15-2018 07:00 and are subject to change
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