Spain countdown: The stages
It’s gravel and asphalt action at WRC’s penultimate fixture
The mixed surface rally is the last opportunity of the year for the team to gauge how the car measures up, nine months after its debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Last week the team conducted a comprehensive test on both asphalt and gravel roads with all the three drivers behind the wheel.
Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “With this being the last tarmac rally of the season we will ask our drivers to push more to see what level we have reached since Rally France and the pre-event test.
“Of course we are not expecting to be right at the top because this is still a development season for us but it would be good to see Dani, Thierry and Hayden go for it a little bit more without compromising our key objective, which is – as always - to learn as much as possible for the future by getting all our cars to the finish.”
Neuville, who finished fourth in Spain last year, is joined in the main team by local hero Sordo, who will be making his 12th appearance on his home rally.
Paddon will drive a third i20 under the Hyundai Motorsport N banner. The New Zealander made his World Rally Car debut in Spain last year, finishing eighth. He will contest the event for the fourth time, although this will be his first tarmac event in the i20.
“We would like to challenge to be in the top seven, while keeping in mind that with 16 WRC entrants, the competition here is huge,” said Paddon. “We’re lucky to have the experience here, and that will help us a lot as [my co-driver] John and I have good pace notes that we have worked on over the last couple of weeks.”
The 50th edition of Rally de España will kick off on Thursday 23 October in Barcelona with a Super Special Stage in the Montjuic area from 18:00 CEST. This opening stage, and Sunday’s Riudecanyes 2 (Power Stage) will be streamed LIVE on WRC+.