Thursday | 22 Oct 2015

Paddon tops times in Spain shakedown

Hayden Paddon celebrated signing a new three-year deal with Hyundai by setting fastest time in shakedown at RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada in Spain on Thursday morning.

The Kiwi powered his i20 World Rally Car through the mixed surface 2.94km Salou stage two-tenths of a second quicker than Sébastien Ogier’s Volkswagen Polo R, with Robert Kubica a further tenth back in a Ford Fiesta RS.

“Although the stage wasn’t representative of the rally it was a good chance to check the car was working and, as we’re back on loose surfaces, to make sure the set-up from Australia is working well,” said Paddon, whose new deal was confirmed on Monday.

“We’ll push hard on the gravel tomorrow. We have a good road position so we need to ensure we make the most of that and try to be near the front. When we get to the asphalt we’ll focus on learning as much as we can. We’ll struggle to be as competitive there but we need to start somewhere.”

Ott Tänak was fourth in a Fiesta RS, with Dani Sordo’s i20 and Jari-Matti Latvala’s Polo R completing the top six.

Kris Meeke was 15sec off the pace in Citroën’s DS 3 as he focused on scrubbing tyres ahead of tonight’s asphalt street stage in Barcelona. The Ulsterman entertained fans by completing donuts around the mid-stage roundabout where the surface switched from gravel to asphalt.

Team-mate Khalid Al Qassimi clipped a chicane but the damage was limited to bodywork only.

Leading times were:

1.Hayden PaddonHyundai i202min 07.5sec
2.Sébastien OgierVolkswagen Polo R2min 07.7sec
3.Robert KubicaFord Fiesta RS2min 07.8sec
4.Ott TänakFord Fiesta RS2min 08.6sec
5.Dani SordoHyundai i202min 08.8sec
6.Jari-Matti LatvalaVolkswagen Polo R2min 09.5sec
7.Andreas MikkelsenVolkswagen Polo R2min 09.7sec
8=Elfyn EvansFord Fiesta RS2min 10.3sec
8=Thierry NeuvilleHyundai i202min 10.3sec
10.Mads ØstbergDS 32min 10.5sec

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