Polish WRC debut beckons Paddon

Polish WRC debut beckons Paddon


Kiwi rally duo Hayden Paddon and John Kennard are looking forward to getting back into their Hyundai i20 WRC car as they contest the Lotos Rally Poland for the first time from June 26 to 29.

They aren’t the only World Rally Championship crews making their maiden run on Poland’s fast, flowing gravel stages.

“The Polish event was last part of the WRC in 2009 and while some drivers have done this event as a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) or the European Rally, it is relatively new for most of our competitors,” says Paddon.

“This makes is a real leveller, particularly for us as John and I are the new boys on the block. I’m really looking forward to Poland – the stages are really fast, a bit like Finland with the main difference being the road surface which is quite soft and sandy. We saw in testing that on the repeat run, the stages will get very rough and cut up, so that’s a consideration.”

“From reviewing the data and on-board footage from Rally Sardegna, it’s clear that I was committing to the pace notes as much as I normally would, taking into account the mix of it being a new event, writing new pace notes and not having the optimal set-up for the conditions,” says Paddon.

“The pace note problems in Sardegna are very specific to that event. It was very technical; there are a lot of changes in rhythm and grip levels and you need a lot of information. Some of this also comes down to a lack of experience of such a unique event.

“But this is all information I can use to improve for future events and for when we hopefully return to Sardegna next year,” he says.

Paddon tested the Hyundai i20 WRC in Poland with the team prior to Sardegna, a fact which should be beneficial for the 27-year-old.

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