Hayden Paddon to get new WRC co-driver mid-season

Britain's Sebastian Marshall will replace John Kennard as Hayden Paddon's World Rally Championship co-driver later this year

Hayden Paddon to get new WRC co-driver mid-season

Paddon and Kennard took what they admitted was one of their hardest decisions ever to end a 12-year relationship after Rally Finland in the summer, with Marshall taking up the Hyundai passenger seat from Rally Germany.

Kennard, 58, told Autosport: "This decision had to come at some point.

"As you get older, you work harder at everything, but you do get fractionally slower and what I don't want is to stop after a mistake.

"We've been talking about this for the last year and now's as good a time as any.

"The focus for Hayden has always been 2018 and this gives him a transition period with Seb."

Marshall's move explains what appeared to be the strange decision to step aside from co-driving for Kevin Abbring at the start of the year.

"This is a massive opportunity for me and I'm delighted to be given the chance to compete at the highest level with a driver of Hayden's calibre - a proven winner - in a manufacturer team," said Marshall.

"This is the next step for me, to have a full world championship programme and a nice vote of confidence to take over from John."

Paddon and Marshall have already tested together and will compete for the first time at the Sanremo Rally at the end of the month in an R5 i20.

Paddon said: "John went back to New Zealand to retire 12 years ago, but instead he got in the car with me - it wasn't much of a retirement!

"And this isn't retirement for him now, he remains absolutely part of the team and he will forever be part of the journey.

"I don't think I could ever thank him enough for what he's done for me."

shares
comments
Sebastien Ogier could be excluded from Rally Mexico over gearbox

Previous article

Sebastien Ogier could be excluded from Rally Mexico over gearbox

Next article

Donald Trump's US election win cast doubt over fate of Rally Mexico

Donald Trump's US election win cast doubt over fate of Rally Mexico
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021