Paddon makes solid start at first WRC event

Last updated 12:10 06/06/2014
Hayden Paddon
Fairfax NZ
SOLID START: The WRC career of Geraldine driver Hayden Paddon is officially underway after he completed the opening stage of Rally Sardinia this morning.

Relevant offers


Kiwi driver Mitch Evans gets test in German DTM series after finishing mixed GP2 season Jackie Stewart hopes Rosberg can take F1 title off Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg squirm at F1 press conference Kiwi driver Earl Bamber won't get to defend Le Mans 24 Hour race title Nico Rosberg beats teammate Lewis Hamilton to win Abu Dhabi GP Badly burnt stockcar driver Simon Smith close to returning home Hawke's Bay man takes out championship Alonso guarantees he'll race in Formula One in 2016, despite horror season Keeping it in the Rees family at Invercargill street races Kiwi Mitch Evans third in feature race at final event of GP2 season in Abu Dhabi

Young Kiwi rally ace Hayden Paddon has made a solid start to his debut event at WRC level in Italy.

After placing 11th on the shakedown test stage overnight, the Geraldine driver and Blenheim co-driver John Kennard finished 14th out of 21 cars on the opening super special stage of Rally Sardinia this morning.

The opening stage was a short 1.3km blast around the streets of the town of Cagliari on the island of Sardinia and marked the official start of Paddon's debut with the Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team.

Rally Sardinia is the first of seven events with Hyundai Motorsport for the New Zealand duo. Paddon said it was ''good to finally get into the groove'' and was looking forward to tomorrow's 59.7km Monte Lerno stage, one of the longest special stages of the 2014 WRC season featuring the famed 'Micky's jump'.''It's our first time in these stages so obviously there's a challenge writing new notes,'' said Paddon.

''They're quite difficult roads here, quite challenging with a lot rocks and quite narrow in places, so there's a lot of information in the pace notes which is going to be more challenging, but think we've done a good job.''

''We tried to simplify some of the notes a little bit just because of the extra corner speed in a WRC car. At the same time this event requires probably a bit more information and detail in the notes for the obstacles. So some of what we've gained by taking some information out, we've lost by putting in extra detail for this event.''

Paddon and Kennard clocked a time of one minute 23.6secs for the opening super stage, 4.5secs behind stage winner Mikko Hirvonen, of Finland.

Ad Feedback

- Sport

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content