Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon is focusing on the positives - like his raw speed - after a frustrating Super 2000 world championship season came to an end at Rally Spain this morning (NZT).
Paddon bounced back from his first day retirement to show good speed across the final two days, proving his class by winning 11 of the 13 stages he completed, though a puncture today again stymied his charge.
It all added up to fifth place finish in the class - he was 20th overall - which sees the 25-year-old from Geraldine finish fourth overall in the championship.
Ireland's Craig Breen was victorious in Rally Spain to clinch the overall title.
Paddon admitted it was a season of "ifs and maybes" - he led the championship early and could easily have won the last three rallies of the year but was thwarted by either car issues or the smallest of driver errors.
"In all honesty it is a season that I am happy to see the back of after a series of set-backs throughout the year," he said, (but) I have learnt a lot and we have been able to set some good stage times on all rallies that we have competed in.
"While the result (today) was not the best, we have been happy with our speed, especially considering it has been at a 'risk-free' speed."
Paddon said plans for next year were "still a work in progress". He hopes to step up to a World Rally Championship car for some rallies, if the budget can be found, but another season in the Super 2000 class is also on the table.
"I hope that our speed this weekend has helped, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done."
- © Fairfax NZ News