World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon previews this weekend’s Wales Rally GB……..
We are currently getting ready for this weeks Wales Rally GB. The rally which is 3 weeks earlier than normal will mean lighter, dryer and faster conditions – but it is Wales and we still expect some rain.
Straight after Turkey Rally, it was a flying 5-day visit back to NZ for the Ashley Forest Rallysprint. It was A LOT of fun driving the 680bhp Hyundai AP4++ that we specially modified for the one event, but unfortunately a faulty oil filter cut our event short. We still thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and is always humbling to see the home support we get which means a lot each time we get back on the plane for Europe.
For this week we are looking to carry forward the momentum from our podium in Turkey. Wales Rally GB is a Rally I enjoy – generally fast and a little slippery. A good result has eluded us a bit here in the past, with our best being 4th in 2016. Road position is also key, and if normal wet conditions occur, we will be disadvantaged on day 1. But this would turn around when the order is re-seeded on day 2, and I would describe day 2 as the key day.
The thing that sets this Rally apart from a fast/muddy NZ Forest stage is the way the road develops from car to car. As the road base is so hard under the layer of mud/gravel on top, once this sweeps off, the road becomes ‘polished’ underneath which provides very little grip. In fact, often on the second pass of stages we are driving off the line, seeking more grip in the un-driven parts of the road, which then of course compromises the line for the corners, which in turn affects the pacenotes. So many ‘on the spot’ adaptations are needed for this event, but we have good experience of this and hope to use that to our advantage.
Now is time to complete the Recce and final preparations for the rally.
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Thanks and will keep you posted.