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Australia launch: Down Under team-mates Chris Atkinson and Hayden Paddon put aside their national rivalries to help launch Coates Hire Rally Australia at Sydney Harbour.
Australian Atkinson and New Zealander Paddon will both drive Hyundai i20 WRCs at the 10th round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Coffs Harbour on 12 - 14 September.
Atkinson’s only previous outing for Hyundai was in Mexico in March and this year’s Rally Australia will be his first since 2006. He predicted the friendly rivalry between himself and Paddon will spill off the track and into the crowds.
“We’ll have a great battle and there will be plenty of rivalry out there between the Aussie and Kiwi spectators too,” he said.
Photo courtesy of Vettas Media.
Testing times: Hyundai and Volkswagen are using the WRC’s summer break to prepare for the second half of the season.
Thierry Neuville and Juho Hänninen have been at the wheel of Hyundai’s i20 in the forests of Finland this week in readiness for Neste Oil Rally Finland (31 July - 3 August), round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen tested a Volkswagen Polo R in Germany ahead of the asphalt ADAC Rallye Deutschland (22 - 24 August), round nine of the series.
Estonia warm-up: Sébastien Chardonnet is the latest WRC regular to commit to Rally Estonia as a warm-up for Neste Oil Rally Finland.
The Frenchman will pilot his Citroen DS3 R5 on the three-day event on 17 - 19 July. He will be joined by fellow WRC 2 contenders Ott Tänak, Martin Kangur and Karl Kruuda.
Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy leader Sander Pärn and rival Max Vatanen will also be in action there.
The smooth and fast Estonian roads provide perfect preparation for the high-speed Finnish event. Rally Estonia features 15 stages covering 235km.