Thursday | 07 Aug 2014

No holding back for Paddon in Australia

Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon has admitted he “won’t be holding back” when he next climbs behind the wheel of the i20 WRC at Coates Hire Rally Australia.

The WRC rookie is four events in to a seven-round WRC programme with the Korean manufacturer and his eighth-placed-finish at the notoriously tricky Neste Oil Rally Finland marked another significant step in his development as a WRC driver last week.

He was sixth overall and the highest placed Hyundai driver at the end of the third day before a power steering problem struck and bumped him two places further back on the final morning.

But the Kiwi feels he’s made some big strides on recent events and he reckons Rally Australia – an event where he has the most experience – represents his best chance of edging closer to the WRC’s fastest drivers.

Speaking to after Rally Finland, Paddon said: “I think I’ve developed a lot as a driver this weekend. I’ve learned a lot about my own driving and car set up and this puts us in a good position for Australia.

“If we can push a bit harder in Australia on the roads that I know, it would be nice to see if we can get in the top five there. I know it’s going to be a tall ask. The roads are pretty smooth and the attrition isn’t normally that high. But we won’t be holding back down there and we’ll keep trying to move forward.”

Paddon’s impressive recent form has been attributed to the new and efficient driving style he has adopted in a bid to get the most out of his i20 WRC.

He explained: “I’ve been trying to be smoother, but at the same time more committed. It’s about using a more positive turn in and no correction so I can commit to the line through the corner. It’s a bit of an art.”

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