Hayden Paddon soups up his local ride for Canterbury rally
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Hayden Paddon has a treat in store for rally fans this weekend when he attacks South Canterbury’s best roads looking to complete a 2019 hat trick of local rally wins.
Though Paddon has already won the Otago and Whangarei events he isn’t registered for the New Zealand Championship and is free of the national championship regulations. So he’s planning to up-the-pace on Saturday’s fourth round by running a larger turbocharger restrictor in his Hyundai i20 AP4.
The Hyundai will race through the South Canterbury stages breathing through a 36mm turbo restrictor (up from 34mm). The change will yield about 30kW more than when Paddon drove to victory in 2018.
“We’re not part of the championship so driving with the bigger turbo restrictor will make the car more relevant to a WRC car,” said Paddon.
“And it’s more fun to drive and a better show for the spectators.”
The power boost will allow Paddon to stretch the legs of his Hyundai on the fast stretches of the South Canterbury roads.
“Last year we really struggled for top speed and another 40 horsepower should make a difference. The car topped out at 184km/h last year and this year we’re targeting 195-200km/h.”
But he’s not expecting to have the speedometer pegged on all of the stages.
“This year there are two forestry stages which bring a new dimension to the event. They are a lot tighter and twistier than the flat-out public roads.”
It’s potentially a farewell rally appearance for the car that Paddon has driven on local events since 2016.
“At this stage it’ll be the last rally outing for the i20 before we change it to hillclimb specification for events like the Ashley Forest Rallysprint and Waimate 50.”
He’s not being drawn on plans for a replacement.
“We’ve got some plans but it’s a case of watch this space at the moment,” Paddon said.
After South Canterbury, Paddon’s only confirmed rally outing will be in an Australian-owned Hyundai i20 R5 car at the August 24-25 Eureka Rush Rally based at Ballarat, Victoria where he hopes to clinch the FIA Pacific Region title.
The second half of the year will also be busy with six trips to Europe for Global Rallycross events.
While Paddon’s goal is victory on his home event, the focus for the other leading contenders will be national championship points. .
Clear points leader Ben Hunt (Subaru) is seeded second ahead of nearest rivals Josh Marston (Holden Barina) and Phil Campbell (Ford Fiesta).
South Islanders Matt Summerfield (Subaru Impreza), Emma Gilmour (Suzuki Swift) and Job Quantock (Skoda Fabia) are also leading contenders.
Paddon’s Hyundai will lead the 81-strong field away from a Timaru start at 6.15am on Saturday with the rally heading towards Waimate for the first of three loops of stages that cluster around a Fairlie service park. The cars are expected at Fairlie for the first service at 9.37am and make second visit at 12.42pm.
After the 11 gravel stages totalling 185km on public and forest roads, the final stage is an 11km tarmac sprint around Levels Raceway starting at 3.12pm.
The South Canterbury event completes the South Island portion of the national series with teams then getting an eight-week break before the penultimate round on the Coromandel Peninsula on Saturday August 17.
Standings — NZ Rally Championship (after round 3 of 6)
1 Ben Hunt (Auckland) Subaru WRX STI, 116pts
2 Josh Marston (Christchurch) Holden Barina AP4, 74pts
3 Phil Campbell (Tauranga) Ford Fiesta AP4, 48pts
4 Dylan Thomson (Christchurch) Subaru Impreza STI, 47pts
5= Andrew Hawkeswood (Auckland) Mazda2 AP4, 46pts
5= Marcus van Klink (Christchurch) Mazda RX-8, 46pts