WRC Rally Australia: Paddon takes career-best WRC car result

Hayden Paddon puts in “a mature and faultless drive” to secure sixth place on Rally Australia in his Hyundai i20 WRC
Hyundai's Hayden Paddon notched up his career-best WRC car result on Rally Australia this weekend when he took sixth place overall.

Paddon was involved in a tense battle with Citroen's Mads Ostberg throughout the three-day event and was only 4.3 seconds behind when the Norwegian slipped back with suspension damage in the penultimate stage.

It was Paddon's third points' finish in a row with the Hyundai i20 WRC and his fourth finish with the team in as many events.

It also equals his career-best result in the WRC, matching his sixth place in Australia from 2011, when he won the PWRC title.

“Obviously to finish sixth overall is our best result with the team,” said Paddon. “We've made really good progress in terms of performance and outright speed since Finland and we're much closer to the leaders. We've done everything the team has asked of us.”

“The fight for sixth place with Mads was exciting, it's not often you get a fight like that on your hands,” he added. “Then this afternoon we were in the right place to take advantage of his problems and in fact, all through the rally there was never more than eight seconds between Mads and I so it was exciting to have a close fight like this, particularly on a Sunday which can often be a bit boring when everyone's focused on safely getting to the end of the event.

“Overall, we've been more competitive this weekend and we've made another good step compared to our last rally in Finland; that's the most important thing.”

Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan meanwhile was impressed with Paddon's performance. The New Zealander was the lead Hyundai at the finish, with Rallye Deutschland winner Thierry Neuville seventh, after losing time on day one, and local star Chris Atkinson took tenth.

“Congratulations to Hayden on securing his best ever WRC car finish with sixth place. He has driven a mature and faultless rally from the start and it was a thrilling battle,” Nandan commented.

“We knew after Rallye Deutschland that we would have to reset our expectations for this rally, our first trip to Australia, and so I am pleased to have all three cars finish inside the top ten.

“The Hyundai i20 WRC has never competed on Australian soil before so this has been a very important, valuable weekend for us as we prepare for next season.

"All three drivers have allowed us to learn more about the car and we have made some key improvements over the three days. We must never forget this is still a learning year and we are up against some strong, experienced competition.”
by Rob Wilkins

Tagged as: Rally Australia , Paddon , hyundai

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Haydon Paddon (NZ) John Kennard (NZ) Hyundai i20 WRC
Haydon Paddon (NZ) John Kennard (NZ) Hyundai i20 WRC
Haydon Paddon (NZ) John Kennard (NZ) Hyundai i20 WRC
Haydon Paddon (NZ) John Kennard (NZ) Hyundai i20 WRC
Haydon Paddon (NZ) John Kennard (NZ) Hyundai i20 WRC
Haydon Paddon (NZ) John Kennard (NZ) Hyundai i20 WRC

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September 15, 2014 10:51 AM

Good solid drive from the youngster, you cant argue with that performance. He was fighting with Mads and Mikko which is a good start. I would say that Hyundai have plenty of choice for next year. They could well chose for any of the following driver combinations : 1 Neuville 2 Sordo 3 Paddon (as a development driver) 1 Neuville 2 Hirvonnen 3 Paddon (as a development driver) Maybe Malcolm can take Sordo if Hirvonnen does indeed go to Hyundai as Sordo does come with strong funding and Malcolm could do with a paid driver to help with the costs. I would also sign Pontus too, but make sure this time it is water tight, unlike when he signed Petter in 99

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