Australia WRC: Rain shakes up lead battle

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Australia WRC: Rain shakes up lead battle
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Nov 17, 2018, 7:47 AM

Rain at the Rally Australia Super Special Stage in Coffs Harbour has helped Hayden Paddon close in on second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala.

Leading Toyota contenders Ott Tanak and Latvala went into the pair of runs through the 1.2-kilometre stage sitting comfortably in first and second, however a burst of rain mid-way through the stage changed the battle at the front of the field.

However there is now 20s between the pair, while Hyundai's Hayden Paddon is just 4s behind Latvala in what is a re-invigorated battle for the minor podium spots.

Tanak got a mixed back in terms of conditions, his first run coming in the dry while his second was in the better of the wet conditions.

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Latvala, meanwhile, was the least fortunate with the weather, two runs in the wet costing him a lot of time to Tanak. He also ended up significantly closer to Paddon, his 10s advantage from the forest stages more than halved thanks to the Hyundai driver getting his first run done in the dry.

He wasn't happy about it either, calling for the times to be disregarded.

"For me, this is not fair," he said.

"We are waiting two hours here to drive the Super Special. Then some are in dry conditions, some are in wet.

"It's not the same race. For me, we should cancel the times. This is stupid."

Mads Ostberg drops from being 14s behind Paddon to 2os, with Esapekka Lappi now just 3.8s behind the Citroen driver.

Nothing much changed for the title contenders, with Sebastien Ogier still 54s off the lead in sixth, while Thierry Neuville is in eighth, 2m35s off Tanak.

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About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Australia
Author Andrew van Leeuwen