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Video: watch a rally car start a forest fire

Wince as Hayden Paddon’s i20 WRC burns to a crisp as he crashes out of rally Portugal

The WRC circus recently rolled into Portugal to hoon around its dry and dusty landscape. Inevitably, there was a crash. Quite a spectacular one too. This time, it wasn’t just the car that was written off, but a section of forest too. 

On the fifth Special Stage – 11.90km into the second pass of Ponte de Lima – Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon had a little hiccup. By cutting a drifty right-hander too tight, his Hyundai i20 head-butted the inside bank that sent it into a spin, down a ravine and into a forest.

In any rallyists book that’s bad news – especially for someone attempting to win a second World Rally Championship event in a row. But it got worse as the red-hot exhaust caught the dry forest wood and started a rather significant fire.

Luckily, Paddon and his co-driver John Kennard were unhurt and able to save their crash helmets from the burning wreckage before the incredibly expensive rally car burnt to a crisp.

Just minutes later, Estonian driver Ott Tänak rolled his Ford Fiesta RS in exactly the same place. That went up in flames too, but the uninjured driver and navigator were helped by locals to put the car out with a hose pipe and drag it out of the inferno to safety.

It’s scary stuff that you can watch unfold above. Just remember kids, motorsport is dangerous.

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