Paddon shows speed on Aussie gravel
No 1 Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon gave a glimpse of what may have been by winning each of yesterday's gravel stages in the WRC 2 class at Rally Australia.
Paddon piloted his Skoda Fabia S2000 to comfortable wins in four of the six stages to haul himself up to fifth overall in the WRC 2 after a disastrous Friday, when he did not make the start line due to an electrical fault.
The 26-year-old, and co-driver John Kennard, were the seventh quickest among the WRC competitors on two stages. They also posted three top 10 quickest times overall on three further stages, showing Paddon showed had the pace.
While Paddon was pleased to be running and competing strongly, he still saw room for improvement and would like to overcome a few niggling problems such as losing the intercom,
During the afternoon a gearshift issue didn't help, but Paddon remained positive.
"It just sort of upsets the rhythm a little bit. You can still push on a little bit so that's encouraging," he said.
"Overall we are happy with our speed... less than 1.7 seconds per kilometre behind the WRC cars.
''We were also 1 minute and 30 seconds quicker than the next person in WRC2 throughout today, so plenty of positives to take away.''
Paddon acknowledged it would be hard to achieve a good overall finish after being handed 35 minutes of penalties on Friday.
"We are still targeting to set some fast stage times as they are just as important at this point as an overall result to allow us to try and get the attention of the right people so that we can get the chance we're looking for next season.''
Qatari Ford Fiesta driver Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari is leading the WRC class from Yuriy Protasov.
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