Paddon couldn't let Finland test crash be end of M-Sport WRC deal

Hayden Paddon says he could not let the disappointment of his Rally Finland testing crash be the end of his World Rally Championship arrangement with M-Sport

Paddon couldn't let Finland test crash be end of M-Sport WRC deal

The one-time WRC rally winner will drive an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 MkII on Rally GB next month before making an outing in a Fiesta World Rally Car on the season-ending Rally Australia.

Paddon concluded a deal to drive a factory Ford in Finland, only to be ruled out by a test accident three days before the rally.

He returned to New Zealand immediately to start work on finding more funding to be back with the team before the end of the 2019 season.

"In my mind there was no doubt we had to come back and do something," Paddon told Autosport.

"There was absolutely no way we could leave it as it was after Finland. I had to be back in the car and I've got there with more phenomenal support.

"There's still a little way to go yet in terms of sorting the financial side out, but we'll definitely be there in Australia.

"I'll test the car before the event, we're going to Spain for that test and I'm happy to say we'll be using the test car this time!"

Paddon said competition from the likes of Kalle Rovanpera and Mads Ostberg on his R5 outing in Wales would be "irrelevant".

"I know the level of the competition is really high, but all I can do is focus on myself, my preparations, my recce everything that I do," he added.

"I'll go to both events and do my own thing and back myself to do a good job, regardless of the competition and what anybody else is doing. It's the same when it comes to Australia as well.

"To be honest, Wales [the Rally GB deal] was a bit of a bonus really. M-Sport offered it to us and I jumped at the chance to drive the car and work with the team.

"There will be some time to test the R5 car before Wales and all of this is seat time and more experience with the engineers."

Asked about his expectations for his World Rally Car return, Paddon replied: "It'll be 12 months since I was in a World Rally Car when I get there, so it's going to be a fairly tough ask, but I'm naturally a very competitive person and I'll want to be looking at the top five.

"Have you seen the recent results in Australia? From 2014 until last year, we finished: sixth, fifth, fourth, third and second in '18 (pictured above).

"There's only one place to go from there. No pressure, then!"

shares
comments
Hyundai adds two test events around WRC as testing debate goes on

Previous article

Hyundai adds two test events around WRC as testing debate goes on

Next article

Ex-WRC star, current Dakar driver Hirvonen enters 2019 Cyprus Rally

Ex-WRC star, current Dakar driver Hirvonen enters 2019 Cyprus Rally
Load comments
How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Plus

How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Plus

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Plus

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021