You started the season desperately searching for sponsorship to contest the Production Car World Rally Championship. How hard has it been to get to where you are today?
“It’s been really, really hard. From when we made the original decision to start up the company to find shareholders we had four weeks to go until the registrations closed for the championship. When the entries closed we had a quarter of the budget in place but once you register for the championship then you’re in for the year. From the start we knew it was a big risk but we felt we had the right support and the right people behind it. As it’s turned out we got the finances for this year and it’s worked out very well, the perfect season you could say.”
Is it hard to believe what you’ve achieved this season?
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, that’s for sure. It’s always what we had originally planned but we’ve just ticked it off a bit earlier than we thought. It’s only going to get harder from here on in though. We’ve jut got to keep working and keep planning. We’ve got some good people working for us so we’re in a good position.”
Finding your budget couldn’t have been easy given the devastation caused by the earthquake and mining disaster back home in New Zealand in the build-up to the season, right?
“The country is still recovering now, particularly in the Canterbury region. It’s really hurting and of course it didn’t help our cause either because it was about the time when we were doing a lot of fundraising. But human wellbeing and health will always come first.”
Four wins from four starts is quite a record Hayden, how satisfied does that make you feel?
“It’s probably the most satisfying thing about it because our success hasn’t been down to luck. Okay, some of the guys have had problems but we put pressure on them. It wasn’t like we were well down and picked up the pieces. We have been there all season. Winning in Argentina was all about handling pressure and we’ve gone from there.”
You’re a product of the Pirelli Star Driver training scheme. How much has that helped your success this season?
“Put it his way the experience from last year was massive, particularly being able to go back to events for a second time and knowing how the world championship works and where you can attack on each event. This result wouldn’t have been possible without the Pirelli Star Driver scheme but it also gave us the momentum to carry on in the PWRC this year. It’s why we took the risk.”
What’s next for you?
“Well we’re contracted to do the final rounds in Spain and Great Britain but maybe we can look to a different car for GB. Our budget is secure for this year but we’re already working on next year. We need to move out of Group N and step up. Super 2000 is an option but the budget is twice the amount and it’s a lot of money to find. We need to find a European partner to get in behind us and help us through but I’ve definitely got no doubt that I can move up to a higher level. There’s some learning an adapting to do but I can get there.”