Hyundai third driver Hayden Paddon was left lamenting a "small mistake" that put him out of Rally Mexico on Friday in SS4.

Paddon had been seventh in the first 'proper' test, SS3, to move up into the top-ten. However about 3 km into SS4 - the long 44.13 km El Chocolate 1 test - he hit a rock, damaging the suspension on his Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC, and was unable to continue.

The Kiwi will now re-start on Saturday under Rally 2, albeit way down in 27th position - more than 40 minutes off a place in the points.

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"It was a trying start to our first full day of action here in Mexico," said Paddon. "We started the morning quite encouragingly with the seventh best time in SS3. The car felt good, certainly the best it's ever felt, and I was really starting to get into the groove.

"We wanted to continue that into the long El Chocolate stage, SS4, but the road was slippery and I made a small mistake about 3km into the stage, into a tight left hander. I lost the rear under braking, sliding wide and hitting a rock.

"We broke the front upright and unfortunately the part we needed to fix it wasn't with us, so we had to stop in the stage. It was really a shame because the Hyundai i20 WRC felt very nice to drive.

"We will re-join tomorrow under Rally 2 now but it will be tough being one of the first on the road, so we'll just focus on learning curve as much as we can."