Hayden Paddon and John Kennard have successfully completed the first day – six stages – of Wales Rally GB, the final round of this year’s World Rally Championship. Despite a tough day with tricky conditions, they hold seventh position overall.
The Hyundai Motorsport team is not giving up in its fight for second place in the Manufacturers’ Championship despite a challenging first day of Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
Hyundai Shell World Rally Team drivers Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon have navigated themselves safely through a tough day in tricky conditions, holding fifth and seventh positions respectively after six stages. Unfortunately, it was a morning to forget for the Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team drivers Thierry Neuville and Kevin Abbring after they were both forced to retire from Friday’s running through no fault of their own.
Paddon (#8 Hyundai i20 WRC) has kept calm in the face of difficulties today to finish in seventh place at the end of the first day. The Kiwi struggled with confidence in the morning loop and experienced technical issues in the afternoon, which have hampered his progress.
Paddon commented: “It has been one of those days today. We had a tough morning loop because the stages, despite looking slippery in places, seemed to have quite a bit of grip. I struggled to trust it, though, and that showed from our times. After lunch, I was hoping to find improvements but we had a spin at the start of SS4 (Hafren 2) and it took me three attempts to get the car started again. We lost 15-20 seconds of time as a result, which was a shame because I actually felt more confident. We then experienced hydraulic problems in SS5 (Sweet Lamb 2), which meant we had to run the final stage (Myherin 2) without paddle shift, with no handbrake and no gear display, so it was a challenge to say the least. We stayed calm to get to the end and tomorrow is another day.”
Hyundai Motorsport is still keeping an eye on its battle with Citroën World Rally Team for second in the Manufacturers’ Championship but admits that today’s running has made the fight that bit harder. With 13 special stages still to run this weekend, anything can happen and both Hyundai Shell WRT cars are still in the hunt.