Motorsport: Paddon bounces back in Rally de Espana

Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon has tasted success on the second day of the Rally de Espana's Super 2000 World Rally Championship category. Photo / Honza Fronek
Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon has tasted success on the second day of the Rally de Espana's Super 2000 World Rally Championship category. Photo / Honza Fronek

Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon has tasted success on the second day of the Rally de Espana's Super 2000 World Rally Championship category.

On day two of the World Rally Championship event the 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 leaderboard. But once we started the first stage the pleasure of driving took over and I really enjoyed the day," said 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 set-up, 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 the final day'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.

- APNZ

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