Paddon ruled out of WRC return on Rally Finland after test crash

A crash in sixth gear while testing has ruled Hayden Paddon out of his return to the World Rally Championship with M-Sport on Rally Finland

Paddon ruled out of WRC return on Rally Finland after test crash

The Kiwi was halfway through his pre-event test in the Ford Fiesta WRC when he hit a rock in a blind corner, sending him off the road at high speed.

M-Sport's Finland preparations had already taken a knock with the news that regular driver Elfyn Evans won't start the event due to an injury sustained at Rally Estonia earlier this month.

His drive is taken by Gus Greensmith, with team regular Teemu Suninen in the other car.

Paddon called M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson immediately after the crash. Wilson and the team tried to find a solution but his one-off return has been stymied.

"Malcolm was straight on this," M-Sport WRC team principal Richard Millener told Autosport.

"His instruction was to find a way to get him out to the event, but we just can't do it. It's so frustrating.

"The car needs a jig and we don't have one and, even if we had a car built and ready to go, it would take three and a half days to get it out there. It's simply not possible.

"Everything was going so well with him, he's been a pleasure to work with and we were all looking forward to the event."

Millener refused to blame Paddon for what he saw as a freak accident.

"When you test on a road like that, these things can happen," added Millener.

"We saw pretty much the same thing happen with Seb [Ogier] in his Finland test last year.

"The difference in that test was that Seb was in the test car rather than his entry car.

"There's always a risk involved with testing in the car you'll be running on the event and this time it's come back and bitten us.

"You can't help but feel really sorry for Hayden. We don't blame him for this.

"A rock's been pulled out and he's then discovered it sitting in the middle of the road in a blind, sixth-gear right-hander.

"There was nothing he could do to avoid it.

"It's hit the bottom of the car and sent them into the air and off the road. They were passengers."

Both Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were unhurt during the incident.

shares
comments
Petter and Oliver Solberg team up for WRC's Wales Rally GB
Previous article

Petter and Oliver Solberg team up for WRC's Wales Rally GB

Next article

Paddon says he couldn't avoid crash that prevented his WRC return

Paddon says he couldn't avoid crash that prevented his WRC return
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
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