Hayden Paddon says the recent wet weather in the Villa Carlos Paz area is likely to produce tricky conditions as the World Rally Championship resumes in Argentina after a seven-week pause.
The New Zealand driver will be looking to add to his impressive results in Sweden (2nd) and Mexico (5th) which propelled him up the WRC drivers' standings to fifth and just a point off top Hyundai driver Dani Sordo.
Paddon, alongside co-driver John Kennard, will arrive in Argentina fresh from victory at Rally Otago in New Zealand in the new Hyundai i20 rally car and are keen to press on in South America in what will be just their third outing at the event.
“Some of the stages we did here in the PWRC in 2011,” Paddon said. “There are more of the faster stages which I enjoy but, in general, this is the roughest rally of the championship and each year we come back the conditions are different. You have to adopt a slightly different mentality to make sure you look after the car as best you can.”
After heavy rain has washed over the region in the past two weeks, Paddon is expecting difficult conditions on the gravel and sandy surfaces but it isn't stopping the 28-year-old from targeting another top five finish.
“The weather outlook for the rally is not so bad but the poor weather in the build-up means we can expect a lot of damaged and rough roads which will add to the challenge,” Paddon said. “Generally, with the softer sandy conditions, tyre strategy is pretty straightforward with softs being the best.
“In terms of the roads, it's not really my favourite rally but we will put that behind us and try and bring home another top five result.”