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Hayden Paddon on WRC Rally de Portugal crash

WRC Rally de Portugal: Hayden Paddon's Hyundai was burned to a shell following a crash and the nature of his exit irked him.

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Hayden Paddon feels harshly done by after an initially small incident resulted in his car burning out during the Rally de Portugal, leading to his exit from the event.

Paddon rolled his Hyundai during the fifth stage in Portugal and, after he and co-driver John Kennard got out of the vehicle, it became engulfed in flames.

The vegetation surrounding the car also caught fire, and the stage was neutralised after Ott Tanak crashed in the same place.

Paddon blamed an obscured pothole for starting the incident, adding he feels the price he has paid is far too high.

"It's frustrating because it doesn't feel like a driving mistake," he told Autosport. "I was caught out by an obstacle on the road, one I wasn't expecting, and the consequences are much, much too harsh.

"It was a flat fourth-gear corner. I was flat through there in the morning, but a big hole had developed on the entry to the corner.

"The hole was hidden behind vegetation and I couldn't see it until I was committed. When I hit it, it kicked the car off into the bank on the right.

"We hit a big rock in the bank that took the front wheel and spun us around, then we went down the bank backwards.

"We would have been back tomorrow, the only damage we had was to the front wheel.

"I was sitting in the car turning it all off, not in any rush to get out of the car. As soon as I got out, the whole back of the car went up in flames.

"I told John we'd better get out pretty quickly. That was maybe 10 seconds - by the time the next car came the whole thing was up.

"It wasn't even an option to get fire extinguishers."

Paddon triumph in Argentina but is now concentrated on getting back on track in Italy next time out.

"We've gone from one extreme to another. It's disappointing but the worst thing is for the team," he said.

"There's so much effort and attention goes into that car and it puts more strain and pressure on the guys to get one ready for the next round in Sardinia."

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