Hyundai's Paddon says WRC career low over after Portugal progress

Hyundai's Hayden Paddon believes he managed to turn his 2017 World Rally Championship season around in Portugal, even though it proved to be another troubled event

Hyundai's Paddon says WRC career low over after Portugal progress

At the previous round in Argentina, Paddon admitted he had run out of ideas for getting back on the pace and was at an all-time low.

Last weekend he led in Portugal and took four stage wins before electrical problems intervened.

"We made a lot of changes at our pre-event test in Sardinia, and I feel at one with the car now," said Paddon.

"I feel part of it for the first time [this season].

"The team said they would bring the car to me and credit to them, they've done that.

"We worked on the suspension and differential settings in Sardinia and it worked."

Paddon dropped back from the lead on Friday morning in Portugal when his i20 briefly cut out, then recovered to third before the problem returned in the afternoon and this time stopped him for over 10 minutes.

A steering issue hampered him later on in the event, and he was retired from his 29th-place result before the official finish to give Hyundai more freedom to work on the car before next month's Rally Italy.

"Your guess is as good as mine on the steering problem," Paddon said.

"That's the top priority right now, to get that sorted.

"The team's got the best of intentions, but it's just frustrating that it keeps happening to us - all the cars are built to the same spec, so it's just pure bad luck that it's our car."

CO-DRIVER CHANGE COULD BE PERMANENT

Seb Marshall stepped in as Paddon's co-driver earlier than planned last weekend when his regular partner John Kennard aggravated a hip injury in Argentina.

The original intention had been for Kennard to retire from WRC co-driving following Rally Finland at the end of July, but Marshall is now expected to stay in the car for Italy and could be there full-time.

"The plan was for John to stop after Finland, but that was before the injury threw a spanner in the works," said Paddon.

"It'll become difficult to chop and change co-drivers.

"Seb and I have started to build a rapport, but John's part of this project and we want to do what's best for everybody."

Marshall, who previously worked with Kevin Abbring, was delighted to lead a rally and set fastest times for the first time in his WRC career.

"Everything has gone very well," Marshall said.

"Hayden said to that he feels like we've been together for years already, so I think that's a good thing. I'll wait to hear what's next for me now."

Hyundai team manager Alain Penasse said the co-driver decision was down to Paddon and Kennard.

"There's some emotion in this one, so it has to come from him and John," said Penasse.

shares
comments
WRC Rally of Portugal: Ogier takes comfortable second win of season

Previous article

WRC Rally of Portugal: Ogier takes comfortable second win of season

Next article

Andreas Mikkelsen gets Citroen WRC drive for Rally Italy

Andreas Mikkelsen gets Citroen WRC drive for Rally Italy
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