Paddon off to flying start
Geraldine's Hayden Paddon got off to a flying start at Rally Finland, storming through the first special stage as the quickest competitor in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship category and 12th overall.
Highlighting their pace in the new Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-prepared car, Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were just two seconds slower than French star driver Sébastien Ogier in a similar Skoda Fabia S2000-spec car through the first 13.68 km stage. Ogier isn't registered for SWRC points, but provides an important benchmark for the Kiwis.
With three stages now run in the bright sunshine of a Finnish summer evening with local driver and new SWRC entrant Esapekka Lappi in a Ford Fiesta in the lead, just 1.5 seconds ahead of Paddon and Kennard.
Swedish driver Per-Gunnar Andersson is third, 12.6 seconds down on Paddon while Irishman Craig Breen completed his first day back after losing friend and co-driver Gareth Roberts in June and holds fourth overnight.
- © Fairfax NZ News