Rally Australia – a note from Hayden Paddon

After the long 26 hour flight home immediately following Rally Germany, it meant a leisurely 2 hour flight here to Australia for this weeks rally……makes a nice change.

As soon as we crossed the flying finish of the last stage in Germany, my mind and preparation turned to a Rally Australia. It’s an event I have been naturally looking forward to all year being that its the closest we get to competing at home. But with our recent form on gravel events, this rally will be our best chance at a repeat podium from Italy – but by no means an easy feat.

While I have talked up our chances here a lot, I’m trying to stay relaxed, prepare as best as we can and let things naturally come. There are a lot of lessons learnt from Rally Sardegna that has both helped prepare for this event and handle the extra pressure.

However, one good advantage we have this week is our road position for day 1 and 2. Dry conditions are expected for the rally and generally the roads here have a good covering of gravel for the front runners to sweep. Our 10th starting position is ideal. Although I am picking Kris Meeke and Ott Tanak just ahead of us on the road the two to keep an eye on. It’s also important we make the most of the morning loop, particularly Friday morning, which are new stages.

One of the major highlights is the amount of a Kiwi fans that make the trip over. Our own escorted tour is fully subscribed at 100 people and it sounds as though hundreds of other Kiwis are also making the trip. Seeing the flag waving and hearing the cheers is a huge motivation to push that much harder, and we hope to put on a good show for everyone.

While WRC+ has helped me study for this event, you can follow this weekend closely through this app with splits, onboards and 3 live TV stages. For those of you in NZ, the live stages will also be broadcasted on Sky Sport (check guide for times).

To get in the swing of things here in Australia, I tried out a spot of surfing over the weekend. Key word is try…..but you can check out my attempt with this video: https://youtu.be/gedvXw7vE-Q

Thanks for the support and will be pushing hard this weekend for a good result.


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