World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon reviews Rally GB and previews this weekend’s Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast….
Wow, what a week Rally GB was! Incredibly long days, some of the best stages of the year and of course the traditional wet Welsh weather conditions. While P7 sounds like nothing to shout about, the Rally was a big step up in performance from the same event 12 months ago. To think we were just 6.5 seconds from 4th and 1.15 min to the lead illustrates how close this rally was!
We knew our low road starting position on Friday was going to work against us, so we took a low key approach of trying to minimise the time loss and to setup a good road position for Saturday (as the road order is established by reverse classification of the WRC cars for Saturday and Sunday).
Third on the road for Saturday and Sunday was a good position and we were able to set several fastest splits and top three times. The small margins between everyone meant it was hard to make true inroads on people around you and combined with a wrong tyre choice on Saturday morning, a spin and a stall resulted in time that we were unable to recover.
However, still plenty of positives – 12 months ago here our team mates Thierry and Andreas gave us a hiding. This year the three of us were separated by just over three seconds from 5th to 7th! This bodes well for future rallies as I continue to feel at one with the car and really happy with the setup. Bring on Rally Australia I say!
It’s now onto a plane to head back for this weekend’s Hyundai NZ Raglan Rally of the Coast on Saturday 13 October – the final round of the NZ Rally Championship and a chance for Hyundai NZ to win the manufacturers title.
Hyundai NZ have teamed up with HELLA to put on a fun filled FREE Spectator Zone this Saturday at stage 6 and 8 Whaanga Coast (from 2:00pm until the conclusion of stage 8), so make sure you put it in your diary as you don’t want miss out on all the action. There will be racing simulators, wheel change challenge, face painting, colouring in, giveaways, running commentary, prime viewing from scissor lifts, BBQ (for a gold coin donation with all proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House) and so much more.
This Thursday evening I’ll be at Ingham Hyundai in Hamilton (454 Te Rapa Rd) from 5:30pm for a meet and greet so feel free to come along and enjoy the festivities.
I will also be signing autographs at the Ceremonial Start on Friday 12th October from 5:00pm in Raglan (corner Wainui Road and Bow Street).
Hope to see you in Raglan!