Rally Update from Hayden Paddon -May 2014

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Finally it is not long until our debut with Hyundai Motorsport, with Rally Sardenga only 10 days away. It has felt like an age for this time to come around since we signed the contract many months ago, but we all are eagerly awaiting the event and the season ahead.

Currently we are back in Europe, where this week we completed a 1 day test for Poland Rally. You may ask why Poland, when that is our second rally at the end of June. With the huge commitments the factory team have, they are testing in advance and the Rally Sardenga tests were done several months ago which we did not do. So while the test was very successful and we learnt a lot, we have not really driven the car yet on Sardenga type stages, so we will be using the events official shakedown on the Thursday (week of the rally) to fine tune our set-up to the specific conditions.

Hayden-PaddonAs I say, testing has been really good, and so far this year I have probably completed more testing mileage already than what I have done in the last 3 years accumulated. So time in the seat is priceless. Already I’m feeling at home in the car and I’m starting to feel that I can easily push. We have of course been trying lots of different set-up combinations on the car and I am lucky to have great team mates who have also been sharing data to help me learn.
Personally my preparations over the last 6 months have gone very well, with increased physical and mental training programs and I’m feeling better than ever. Of course this is an ongoing process but both John and I are feeling ready for the challenge.

Speaking of challenges, our objective for our first rally of the season is to simply gain experience. Sardenga is a very tricky rally and is one that I have not done before, so seat time and trying to make no mistakes will be key. We have a good program of 7 rallies this year, so it is vital that we show progression from rally to rally.

Already we know of a lot of Kiwis that are going to be at different events. If you are also or know of anyone going, get them to join our Facebook page for Kiwi fans on WRC events. We hope to link all Kiwis together on any given event and also have a catch up afterwards. The link for the page is as follows: https://www.facebook.com/groups/457004467776539/

Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with everything. Thanks for all your ongoing support and look forward to keeping you up to date during Rally Sardenga.

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