Kiwi WRC driver Hayden Paddon airlifted to hospital after crashing out of Rally Portugal

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has been airlifted hospital after sustaining a back injury when he crashed out of Rally Portugal this morning.

The 31-year-old hurt himself after an accident in on the second run at the Ponte de Lima test and was taken to hospital in Porto as a precaution.

His co-driver, Seb Marshall, was uninjured in the event.

To add insult to injury, prior to the crash Paddon had retaken the lead at the event after earning his second stage win of the event in the precious stage.

Hyundai team manager Alain Penasse said the crash happened around 2.4 kilometres into SS7 - the final gravel test of the day.

"In a right corner, Hayden tried to avoid a stone on the inside," Penasse told Autosport.

"He went to the outside of the corner and went to the ditch. The ditch was ending and the car hit the end of the ditch with a strong impact on Hayden's side.

"They both came out of the car themselves, then Hayden started to have some lower back pain, so they decided to ask for a doctor.

"The ambulance came, it took them back to the start and Hayden was airlifted to the hospital in Porto where they are doing a check-up."

Paddon has taken to social media to confirm he's fine but disappointed.

"Looking so promising only for Porta De Lima stage to bite us for a third year in a row," he said.

"To be on the pace and leading the rally twice today was encouraging, driving within ourselves and looking to consolidate on the final stage of the day.

"But unfortunately I made a small mistake to avoid a big rock on the inside of a corner which sent us wide into the ditch and of course there had to be a culvert in the ditch to stop us in our tracks.

"Really sorry for the team and everyone supporting us. Awaiting clearance from the hospital."

WRC driver's championship leader Sebastien Ogier also crashed out this morning.

Hayden Paddon Source: Photosport


Brendon Hartley posts 18th fastest time at Spanish Grand Prix practice

Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley has twice posted the 18th fastest time in practice for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona overnight.

Having collected his first ever Formula1 point with a 10th placed finish at the Azerbaijan two weeks ago, Hartley will be looking to improve on his breakthrough result for Italian outfit Toro Rosso.

In the first practice session, Hartley clocked one minute 21.373 seconds, before coming back in the afternoon to post 1:21.265 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Mercedes' Valterri Bottas was the fastest of the driver's during the practice day, clocking a fastest time of one minute 18.148 seconds.

Qualification for the Spanish Grand Prix takes place overnight NZT.

Hartley was confirmed to drive for Toro Rosso in next season's championship.
Brendon Hartley. Source: Associated Press



'The Richie McCaw of speedway' - Tributes flow for motorsport legend Ivan Mauger

The motorsport world has paid tribute to Kiwi legend Ivan Mauger, after the speedway legend died at the age of 78 yesterday.

Christchurch-born Mauger won 15 world titles in total during his career, mostly in the 1970s, along with countless other events and enjoyed international celebrity status.

Mauger's daughter Debbie Pritchard led the messages, taking to Twitter to reflect on her father's life.

"You knew him as "Ivan" & I truly respect that I really do, I was so lucky & privileged to know him as Dad, how lucky we all were," she wrote.

Speedway New Zealand chief executive John McCallum offered a touching tribute to Mauger - whom he dubbed a "megastar".

"No-one dominated the world like Ivan did. In footballing terms, he was the Pele of speedway."

"There is no one else that achieved what Ivan has and he did it as a proud Kiwi. He never forgot the fact he was a New Zealander."

"He was a pioneer in professionalism ahead of his time," Speedway Great Britain tweeted.

Mauger's former neighbour told NZME that the former champion was the "Richie McCaw of speedway."

Mauger is survived by his wife, Raye, son, Kym, and daughters Debbie and Julie."

New Zealand's Ivan Mauger, regarded by many as the world's greatest speedway rider after winning six individual world championships, died at the age of 78. Source: 1 NEWS