Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Paddon keen to start Wales Rally GB

14 September 2012

Paddon keen to start Wales Rally GB

New Zealand world champion rally drivers Hayden Paddon and John Kennard have completed reconnaissance for Wales Rally GB and are keen to get underway in their fifth World Rally Championship event for 2012.

Paddon is competing for points in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship, the second tier of the WRC, where he’s currently second by just six points to Swedish driver Per-Gunnar Andersson.

The 25-year-old Kiwi is also out to demonstrate his competitive pace against the two Volkswagen Motorsport competitors, Kevin Abbring and Sébastien Ogier, who drive similar Skoda Fabia S2000s as part of VW’s WRC acclimatisation programme. Abbring and Ogier are not part of the Super 2000 championship, but provide a key benchmark for Paddon and Kennard, his Blenheim-based co-driver.

During Wednesday’s shakedown run, Paddon was at the wheel of his Skoda Fabia rally car for the first time since Rally Finland at the beginning of August.

From Thursday evening’s opening ceremony in the north of Wales, Paddon said: “Our preparations for Rally GB have gone well this week and we’re now really looking forward to getting into the rally. After arriving here in Wales on Monday we have had two days of recce to get our pace notes sorted for the rally. We have notes for about half the stages while the other stages are similar to what we have done in the past but just in a different configuration.

“I have never seen the stages here in such good condition and with the warmer weather that they have had here recently, the roads are a lot harder based but also a lot smoother; very similar to parts of the forestry stages that we find at Otago Rally. The road condition combined with the fast nature of the roads should suit us very well.

“During shakedown I was back behind the wheel of our Skoda for the first time since Finland and it was good to be back in the seat. The feeling in the car came very quickly and we didn't have to make any changes to the car. So it was just a matter of some time in the seat.

“Everything is looking good for the rally which starts on Friday morning [UK time] and we are certainly ready. One of the biggest challenges though will be tyre choice - we have two options, hard or soft - and predicting the weather conditions.”

The rally is based in Cardiff with three days and 324.46 kilometres of competitive stages and over 1,200 kilometres of touring stages in a rally route which cover Wales from north to south.

After Wales Rally GB, Paddon remains in the UK – based in Northampton – for the reminder of the WRC season. He has two final events of the 2012 FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship season to complete, France in October and Spain in November.

Paddon’s New Zealand World Rally Team is supported by PlaceMakers, Giltrap Group, Skoda, Z Energy, ENZED, ATEED, GO Rentals, Cameron Sea and Airfreight, Granger Design, Raiseys, New Balance, Pope Print, Racetech, Chicane Racewear, Endless Brake Pads, 1 Group web design, Brita Safety, Rally Tours, MAK-Corp, EPS International, Saddle Hill Quarries, Monit Rally Computers, Bluebridge Ferries, Stadium Finance, and Ewing Engineering Contractors.

Hayden Paddon RallySport shares news, images and results via the team’s website where fans can also subscribe for regular email updates and find links to the team’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Full list of entries for Wales Rally GB can be found at

Hayden Paddon’s 2012 SWRC Calendar
Event 1: 9-12 February, Rally Sweden
Event 2: 29 March – 1 April, Rally Portugal
Event 3: 22-24 June, Brother Rally New Zealand
Event 4: 2-5 August, Rally Finland
Event 5: 13-16 September, Wales Rally GB
Event 6: 4-7 October, Rally France
Event 7: 8-11 November, Rally Spain


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Roddy Doyle's Grim and Gritty Rosie

Although it was completed over two years ago, Roddy Doyle's first original screenplay in over eighteen years has only just arrived in New Zealand. It's been well worth the wait. More>>

Simon Nathan: No Ordinary In-Laws

The title of this short memoir by Keith Ovenden is misleading – it would be better called “Bill, Shirley and me” as it is an account of Ovenden’s memories of his parents-in-law, Bill Sutch and Shirley Smith. His presence is pervasive through the book. All three participants are (or were) eloquent, strongly-opinionated intellectuals who have made significant contributions to different aspects of New Zealand life. Their interactions were often complex and difficult... More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland