Paddon and Kennard finish an improving sixth

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

The New Zealanders delivered a second-quickest stage time on Sunday’s (CEST) opening monster 53.78 km special stage and a fastest spilt time on roads still wet from overnight rain. This result reduced the gap to fifth-placed Craig Breen by over 20 seconds on these final two stages of the World Rally Championship event dubbed the rally of 10,000 corners.

“Obviously a tough weekend, but okay, sixth place is still points in the bag,” said Paddon on Sunday evening having struggled to find the pace he felt he should have on this twisty, tarmac rally.

“We were able to make some progress today by reverting back to my old natural driving style and going back to basics a little bit. We can be pleased we made some progress today; that’s especially good going into Rally Spain in two weeks’ time. It gives us a bit more confidence, gives us some different information and data we can sit down with over the next week and make sure we come back stronger in Spain.

“For sure, I’m not patient enough to not be competitive, so I’m more fired up now more than ever to try and conquer the tarmac, to put all the mindset aside whether it’s tarmac or gravel and just get on and drive the car. I’m looking forward to Rally Spain to make amends for this rally. We want to be more competitive and I know we can compete up the front, we’ve just got to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.”

Paddon’s Hyundai Motorsport team-mate Thierry Neuville finished in a strong second place behind rally winner Sebastien Ogier while Dani Sordo secured seventh overall, 30.8 seconds behind Paddon.

With the next WRC round in Spain getting underway on 13 October, Paddon and Kennard are also taking the opportunity for more rallying by competing at Rally Legend with Hyundai Italy and the 2014 WRC car over the weekend of 8-9 October. “It’s a chance to go sideways and put on a show for the hundreds of thousands of spectators at this exhibition event based out of San Marino,” says Paddon.