Paddon out to secure manufacturers' title

Hayden Paddon
Hayden Paddon
Hayden Paddon has travelled halfway around the world to turn out at one of New Zealand's top rally events.

Alongside co-driver John Kennard, he will race in tomorrow's Raglan Rally of the Coast.

His goal is a simple one - win the rally and secure the New Zealand Rally Championship manufacturers' title for Hyundai New Zealand.

He has returned from the muddy World Rally Championship tracks of Wales for the race and is looking forward to the event.

"It promises to be a great day of rallying," Paddon said.

"I'm very excited to get out on some of the best roads in the world and some of New Zealand's most iconic rally stages.

"It's great to have already wrapped up the NZRC drivers' title at the previous round in Coromandel, but it would mean a lot to Hyundai New Zealand to win the manufacturers' title.

"They have invested a lot into New Zealand rallying over the past three years since we debuted the AP4+ rally car, so I'd really like to bring this home for them.

"In the manufacturers' standings, we currently have 100 points, trailing Subaru by just one point.

"Essentially, whoever wins the rally wins the manufacturers' championship.

"It will go down to the wire between Subaru NZ's lead driver Ben Hunt and myself."

Meanwhile, Queenstown's Mike Sheehan is looking to continue the learning curve that has been his first season in the national championship.

Sheehan has been a spectator on the roads used for the Raglan Rally, but has never competed on them.

However, experienced co-driver Glenn Goldring has competed on the roads and has a solid set of pace notes he and Sheehan can start with, personalising them on the pre-event reconnaissance, to give them a chance of repeating the podium finish at Rally Canterbury earlier this year.

Since their last outing at Rally Coromandel, the team has worked hard on the Ford Fiesta R2.

"Raglan is another event that is new to us and I can't wait to get there," Sheehan said.

"The roads seem to be a real challenge, so if we can survive them I'm sure we'll learn plenty.

"Having Goldie on board for this really helps. He's able to pass on so much experience and gives us a head-start over starting from scratch."

The event is a one-day race over 170km of special stages.

 

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