Hayden Paddon’s victory hopes in the WRC 2 category at Coates Hire Rally Australia ended when continued electrical problems forced the Kiwi out before today’s opening stage.
His Skoda Fabia S2000 completed last night’s opening two tests with low voltage. Although the New Zealander’s team tried to solve the issue during this morning’s 15 minute service, the car stopped en route to the opening Tuckers Nob stage.
Paddon, who finished third in the category in the previous two rounds in Finland and Germany, hopes his team can trace the issues so he can return tomorrow under Rally 2 regulations.
“We are not 100 per cent sure what the problem is yet,” he told WRC Live. “After the first run around the super special stage last night there was a lot of current being drawn out of the car and we were losing battery voltage.
“This morning we did the best job we could to try to fix it. We went through the whole electrical system and replaced the battery and some components, but unfortunately on the way to the first stage the car stopped.
“We will try to fix it and if we do get back out tomorrow there will be a bit of anger behind the wheel, obviously controlled anger, but there will be no holding back. We want to try to make something from the weekend,” said Paddon.
The 2011 PWRC champion has struggled to finance a programme this year and this is only his third WRC outing. He has his sights set on stepping up to a World Rally Car in 2014, and hoped an impressive performance close to home would help attract funding.
“It’s very frustrating, particularly with the amount of mechanical problems we have had over the past two seasons and at the moment we are just thinking what it takes to get a break. This weekend was quite important to try to help us for next season so hopefully this won’t dent that too much,” he added.