Making their debut in a new generation world rally car in Spain will be New Zealand’s finest, Hayden Paddon and co-driver John Kennard.
Paddon will take to the wheel of the Fiesta RS WRC for the first time in competition next week. Driving for the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team, the pairing have high hopes and their skill behind the wheel could well see them challenge the front-runners on individual stage times.
It’s certainly going to be a very exciting event for us – it’s pretty amazing to have an opportunity to drive a world rally car for the first time in competition! Obviously, at the same time, that brings a lot of pressure, but we’ll put that to the back of our minds and just concentrate on doing the best job we can.
“Preparation wise, John [Kennard, co-driver] and I are lucky enough to have competed in Spain a couple of times before. We’re just working on the pacenotes and being as comfortable as we can before the start of the rally.
“Generally, the switch from asphalt to gravel is a real challenge for the drivers as you need to be able to adapt your driving style pretty quickly. For me, for example, I’ll be going from right-foot braking to left-foot braking over the course of just a few hours. That aside, next week will give us the perfect opportunity to show what we can do on both surfaces.”