Fri 05 Jul 2024

ERC’s super Paddon takes early Estonia lead

Hayden Paddon leads Delfi Rally Estonia, the defending ERC champion going quickest on the Tartu super special as round four of the FIA European Rally Championship got under way this evening (Friday).

With fans packing the sunlit parkland stage close to central Tartu, Hyundai i20 N Rally2-powered Paddon edged Jon Armstrong (Ford Fiesta Rally2) by 0.8sec after he stopped the clocks in a time of 1min 31.0sec.

 

The Pirelli-equipped New Zealander said: “In the WRC I was rubbish at all super special stages, if only I knew this 10 years ago.”

 

Michelin-shod Škoda driver Simone Tempestini completed the 1.48-kilometre test third quickest followed by Mads Østberg, Mikko Heikkila and Miko Marczyk.

 

But there was drama for Heikkila after a mechanical issue left his Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 stuck in second gear following the stage.

Andrea Mabellini was seventh fastest, one place ahead of Robert Virves, the leading Estonian contender. Mathieu Franceschi, who started the event joint top of the standings with Paddon, went ninth quickest followed by Toyota development driver Yuki Yamamoto.

 

Qualifying Stage pacesetter Georg Linnamäe was 11th quickest, Mārtiṇš Sesks took 12th for Team MRF Tyres with Teemu Asunumaa beating his fellow Finn Benjamin Korhola to the 13th quickest time as Frank Tore Larsen rounded out the top 15 contenders.

 

Tristan Charpentier set the FIA ERC3 and ERC Fiesta Rally3 Trophy pace, while ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team’s Timo Schulz was fastest in FIA ERC4 and FIA Junior ERC.

 

Delfi Rally Estonia continues tomorrow (Saturday) with the 21.45-kilometre Raanitsa stage from 07:49 local time. Asunmaa, the reigning Finnish champion, is set to open the road with Paddon lining up fourth.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM