Cordoba-Villa Carlos Paz
Paddon in good shape as Rally Argentina starts
New Zealanders Hayden Paddon and John Kennard start the first full day of Rally Argentina today (Friday 27 May) as the second seed in the Production World Rally Championship field.
The Subaru-driving Kiwis came through the event’s first super special stage – a 3km blast around the streets of host town Carlos Paz – third fastest among PWRC competitors and the 15th quickest overall time on Thursday evening [Argentina time].
Starting on Friday morning [Argentina time] Paddon and Kennard, from Geraldine and Blenheim respectively, face three days of rallying with a total of 378km of competitive stages and over 1,000km of touring between stages as they aim for another strong finish in the PWRC. Running near Argentina’s second-largest city Cordoba, this rally features a combination of rock-strewn roads, sandy tracks, twisty passes through lunar-like landscapes, water splashes, fog patches and high-speed jumps.
From his official test session with fellow PWRC competitors on Monday, Paddon said the roads are definitely rough, and he was expecting that.
“The test went really well. Using things that we have learned with our New Zealand Subaru, we have been working with the Symtech Racing engineers to further develop this Subaru,” said the 24-year-old who finished third in the PWRC last year on his first attempt at the feeder series to the elite World Rally Championship.
“It is hard to measure this against other rallies as the roads are quite unique. The road we used for testing was similar to the rougher sections of the rally and I can tell you - it was rough! On such a road it is hard to get the perfect set-up, but we got the car much more comfortable and easier to drive which is even more crucial for this event as it will also be vital to look after the car on the rough sections.”
Paddon and Kennard’s pre-rally preparation also included two days of reconnaissance, which must be completed in a regular road car, before their first chance to run their Subaru rally car at full speed during Thursday’s shakedown test session. The pair was the second-quickest of the PWRC competitors.
The Kiwis tackle six stages on Friday – three stages repeated in morning and afternoon, eight stages on Saturday and four on Sunday.
Paddon would like to thank the continued support he gets from his loyal partners, which include Subaru New Zealand, EDL Fasteners, CR Properties, Racetech Seats, Castrol, Dunlop, Radio Sport, Radio Hauraki, Camerons Sea and Air Freight, Endless brakes, In-tune Automotive, All About Signs, Total Automotive, Reaction Racing, Raiseys Sport Nutrition, Chicane Racewear, RallyTours, Alto Lab, Pope Print, Granger Design, Bluebridge Ferry, 1 Group and Symtech Racing.
-source: haydon paddon pr