Day two of the RACC Rally de Espana has seen world class Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon win every stage in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship (SWRC) category, after road conditions improved for the final round of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) event.
Today’s leg used tarmac roads north-west of Spanish city Salou and included the massive double-run 45.97km El Priorat stage – a stark contrast to the mud and wet that led to Paddon’s day one retirement. Instead Geraldine’s Paddon and Blenheim based co-driver John Kennard triumphed over their fellow SWRC competitors in their Skoda Fabia S2000, accumulating a significant leading margin of 108 seconds over second placed Per-Gunnar Andersson for the day.
“After yesterday’s disappointment, it was hard to get back into the groove having dropped down the leader board. But once we started the first stage the pleasure of driving took over and I really enjoyed the day,” enthused Paddon.
“I know there are places where we can go faster and commit more to the pace notes, but this will come with time.”
The midday service saw Paddon learn more from the few small changes made to the car’s setup, lessons he believes will be useful for tomorrow’s final day.
“Rain is expected in the morning, which will make conditions trickier, but we have a good wet set-up which will work well if, or when, the rain arrives.”
Optimistic about Sunday’s conditions, the last day of the 2012 season, Paddon and Kennard will leave Salou just after 7am for the remaining 93.94km, before returning for the ceremonial finish at 3pm.
Overall, Irishman Craig Breen still leads the SWRC category, second is Swede PG Andersson, three minutes behind, with Paddon placed fifth.
Paddon and the New Zealand World Rally Team appreciate the support of the following organisations: Red Bull Energy Drink, PlaceMakers, Giltrap Group, Skoda, Z Energy, ENZED, ATEED, GO Rentals, Cameron Sea and Airfreight, Granger Design, Raiseys, New Balance, Pope Print, Racetech, Chicane Racewear, Endless Brake Pads, 1 Group web design, Brita Safety, Rally Tours, MAK-Corp, EPS International, Saddle Hill Quarries, Monit Rally Computers, Bluebridge Ferries, Stadium Finance, and Ewing Engineering Contractors.
Hayden Paddon RallySport shares news, images and results via the team’s website www.haydenpaddon.com where fans can also subscribe for regular email updates and find links to the team’s Twitter and Facebook pages.