Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon is looking to avoid carnage and take advantage of a good road position at this weekend's Rally Turkey.

The WRC returns to Turkey this year for a brand new event west of Istanbul on some of the roughest roads the championship will visit this year.

"They're maybe not quite as rough as we expected but it is rough," the factory Hyundai driver told The Herald. "The biggest issue is the large rocks lying on the edge of the roads that will get pulled into the middle by the front running cars.

"It will be hard trying to avoid punctures but it is quite twisty as well so being clean and looking after the car is key.


"I think it will be the most demanding rally of the year and this rally will be about being smart and allowing enough margins to cope with the conditions."

Starting down the running order will help Paddon to a degree. The roads will be swept clear of the majority of gravel, allowing him to have better traction and therefore set faster stage times. But some of the bigger rocks on the edge of the road can get dislodged and pushed into the racing line, which can cause major damage if he hits them – what caught him out while leading in Portugal earlier in the season.

"I think if we can be clean then a good result is possible," Paddon said. "We are feeling pretty good in the car at the moment.

"We want to put a good result forward and we saw in Portugal what can happen on rough stages if you push too hard. We just need to bring it back five percent to give ourselves so margin."

It has been an improved season for Paddon in 2018 but he is contesting only half a championship at WRC level. Conversations about deals for next year are likely to begin after this weekend and backing up a strong result last start in Finland would be invaluable for the 31-year-old.

"It is starting to come down to the business end of the year for future contracts. We haven't actually started our discussions because we have only had four events so far. Certainly after this rally we will need to start some of those talks and a good result here will help that."