Hayden Paddon has achieved his pre-event goals to finish Rallye Deutschland and add to his experience of this technical and challenging tarmac rally, so the Kiwi was pleased to get through with no mistakes to secure eighth place.
Hyundai Motorsport heads into the six-week break with clear intentions to refocus on its championship campaign after a tough weekend in Rallye Deutschland, the tenth round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
Despite being a home rally for the Alzenau-based squad, and a happy hunting ground for results in the past three seasons, none of the team’s three crews have had cause for celebration this weekend.
Paddon and Seb Marshall were the highest placed Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team pair, down in eighth place. Dani Sordo and Marc Martí were put out of contention early on Friday morning after rolling down a bank, and forced to start again under Rally 2 on Saturday.
Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul also had to make use of Rally 2 to re-join on Sunday morning, after their rally was brought to a sudden halt on Saturday’s opening stage. All in all, It was an unrepresentative weekend for Hyundai Motorsport overall, although it ended on a positive as Sordo claimed Power Stage victory and five extra points towards his drivers’ championship total. That result saw Sordo take a total of five stage wins, equal with rally winner Ott Tanak.
Paddon and Marshall suffered two separate punctures over the weekend, which cost them time on Friday and Saturday. In their fifth event together, the crew continued to push and were rewarded with a handful of top-three times later in the rally, including second in Sunday’s SS20 (Losheim am See).
Paddon said: “When conditions were more consistent, we showed some improvement in performance compared to last year, so there are some positives to take away from this tough weekend. I knew this would be one of the hardest rallies of the season, so I am pleased that we made it to the end, and showing better stage times. I am going back home to NZ for a month, during which I will also take part in a few gravel rallies, so I am looking forward to that. Then, it’s back to Europe when we will begin our push for a good result to finish the season.”
The WRC takes a six-week break before returning for Rally de España, which takes place from 5-8 October. It will act as the 11th round of the 13-event 2017 season.
The Spanish round of the championship is the only mixed surface rally of the season, tackling gravel and tarmac terrain.
1 O. Tänak M. Järveoja Ford Fiesta WRC 57:31.7
2 A. Mikkelsen A. Jaeger Citroën C3 WRC 16.4
3 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC 30.4
4 J. Hänninen K. Lindström Toyota Yaris WRC +1:49.2
5 C. Breen S. Martin Citroën C3 WRC +2:01.5
6 E. Evans D. Barritt Ford Fiesta WRC +2:03.4
7 J.M. Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +3:58.2
8 H. Paddon S. Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +4:32.4
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 10
1 S. Ogier 177
2 T. Neuville 160
3 O. Tanak 144
4 J.M Latvala 123
5 D. Sordo 89
6 E. Evans 87
7 C. Breen 64
8 J. Hänninen 58
9 H. Paddon 55
10 E. Lappi 49
2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 10
1 M-Sport World Rally Team 325
2 Hyundai Motorsport 261
3 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 213
4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 163
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.