Maiden win in sight for Paddon following Latvala crash


Hayden Paddon is on course to claim his first World Rally Championship win after previous leader Jari-Matti Latvala crashed out on day two of the Rally Argentina.

Latvala's bid for a second successive WRC triumph came to a dramatic end on stage 14, the Finn forced to retire after going off road at the 21 kilometre point.

Thierry Neuville was quoted by the WRC's official website as saying: "I saw Jari-Matti's car. It looks like a huge crash." However, Volkswagen duly confirmed both Latvala and co-driver Miikka Antilla were thankfully ok.

Hyundai driver Paddon completed the one remaining stage 4.5 seconds slower than reigning world champion Sebastian Ogier, his nearest rival.

Ogier must make up a 29.8 second deficit across three stages on Sunday to triumph, but Paddon is refusing to take victory for granted.

"A long way and some tough stages still to go," said the New Zealander. "Thirty seconds to the world champion isn't a whole lot.

"Looking at today, performance-wise there's definitely room for more improvement, but my consistency across the stages has been good."