Wednesday | 07 Oct 2015

Paddon's patience pays off

Expert advice from asphalt trainers was key to Hayden Paddon achieving his best sealed surface result at Tour de Corse – Rallye de France last weekend, the Kiwi believes.

After a cautious start, Paddon rocketed up the leaderboard to finish fifth in a Hyundai i20, beating four previous event winners to further enhance his flourishing reputation.

The Kiwi went back to school with training from former FIA Endurance Touring Car champion Rob Wilson before ADAC Rallye Deutschland, and from ex-Peugeot works driver Nicolas Bernardi ahead of the French event.

“We were able to take the lessons we learned from before the rally, put them into practice and make improvements. There is still more to come but we’re heading in the right direction,” Paddon told

“The improvements came from me understanding the technique required. It’s taken a while to put into practice. I can do it, but it’s not natural and when that’s the case you have to think about it a lot and your focus goes away from the basics of driving.

“Once it all comes together it will gel, but in the meantime it’s a matter of improving step by step. It took over 100 gravel rallies to be at this level, and we’ve only done seven or eight asphalt rallies, so we have to be a little bit more patient,” he added.

Paddon admitted Friday’s torrential storms were just what he didn’t need on his first Corsica appearance.

“We probably went too easy on Friday, which I didn’t enjoy at all, in the bad conditions and lost way too much time. When I saw the state of the roads on the first stage, I was looking forward to Sunday night! But it was more enjoyable when they were more consistent.

“When conditions are like Friday you have to be patient. It feels slow, but it’s the same for everyone. In WRC there is a lot of attrition because the speed is so immense, and everyone has a mindset that you need to be 110 per cent all the time, but when the roads are tricky you have to hold yourself back,” he added.

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