Hayden Paddon says a “small mistake after a jump” was the reason for his crash on Saturday on Rally Argentina that hospitalised six spectators.
Paddon, who had re-started under Rally 2 after mechanical issues on Friday, went off near the start of the Capilla del Monte-San Marcos 2 stage, crashing into the crowd in his Hyundai i20 WRC.
The stage was stopped as a result with two fans then flown to hospital. Four others were taken by road. One has been left in intensive care
Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were not injured.
Reflecting on the accident, Paddon admitted it was his fault: “Early in the first stage, I made a small mistake after a jump - we went slightly off line onto the edge of the road. Unfortunately, there were some spectators which we hit.
“It was not a nice incident and not the best way to end the day. Our best wishes go out to everyone who was involved.”
Hyundai boss Michel Nandan added: “Naturally, our first thoughts go to the spectators who were injured after the #20 Hyundai i20 WRC left the road in SS9. Thankfully, they have been treated very quickly by the authorities on site.
“We are in contact with the FIA and rally organisers to determine precisely what happened.”
Paddon is now expected to re-start on Sunday under Rally 2.
“The team extends its thoughts to those involved in the incident, and is liaising with the rally organisers to understand precisely what happened. It is expected that Paddon will continue on the final day of the rally,” confirmed the team.