It’s time to holler for a Mar­shall

New driver in hot seat af­ter hip in­jury rules Ken­nard out of Por­tu­gal

Weekend Herald - - WHAT’S ON - Rossi ready for re­venge

Mo­toGP cham­pi­onship leader Valentino Rossi is hop­ing he can put his 10th place at the Spanish Grand Prix ear­lier this month be­hind him this week­end. The rid­ers are at Le Mans for round five of the se­ries and the Ital­ian is look­ing to keep his team­mate, and two- time race win­ner, Mav­er­ick Vi­nales at bay. Su­per­cars are for sale and the self­pro­claimed third largest sport in Aus­tralia thinks it’s worth $ 107 mil­lion. Archer Cap­i­tal bought a 65 per cent stake in the cat­e­gory in 2011 for a re­ported $ 193 mil­lion. Archer Cap­i­tal won’t get $ 107m; more like $ 75m, if there is a taker. A num­ber of suit­ors have ex­pressed in­ter­est in­clud­ing Sports En­ter­tain­ment Lim­ited ( SEL) and TEG, which owns Tick­etek. The 26 Rac­ing En­ti­tle­ment Con­tract ( REC) own­ers hold the re­main­ing 35 per cent stake in Su­per­cars. New Zealand World Rally Cham­pion- ship driver Hayden Pad­don i s con­test­ing Rally Por­tu­gal this week­end with his new co- driver for the first time this year.

The long- serv­ing John Ken­nard had to sit this one out due to a hip in­jury be­ing ag­gra­vated dur­ing the last event in Ar­gentina.

It had been an­nounced ear­lier this year that Ken­nard would step back from ac­tive co- driver du­ties from Rally Ger­many on­wards and Seb Mar­shall would take over for the rest of the year.

“The plan [ to take over from Ken­nard] was al­ways for Ger­many in Au­gust,” Mar­shall said. “Hayden and John have al­ways been quite clear that at some stage they would have to search for a new co- driver.

“They both had a clear idea of the at­tributes needed in a new co- driver and I seem to fit the bill, and per­haps it was also be­ing in the right place at the right time.

“I first met them in 2010 when they were do­ing the Pirelli Star Driver and the year they won that prize I was do­ing the ju­nior world cham­pi­onship.

“It was only since I started work­ing with the Hyundai motorsport team that we re­ally got to know each other bet­ter.

“I al­ways got on re­ally well with Hayden and John and it was when I jumped in for a test with Hayden in the mid­dle of last year that things started to move for­ward with me po­ten­tially driv­ing with Hayden full time.”

The 27- year- old is no stranger to shar­ing the car with Pad­don, hav­ing been in­volved in a num­ber of tests and gravel races with the Kiwi in the past year.

Mar­shall was also part of the Hyundai Motorsport fam­ily hav­ing co- driven with Kevin Ab­bring in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship and re­cently con­tested Rally San Remo along­side Pad­don.

In what could bode well for the rest of the sea­son, and es­pe­cially so for 2018, is that the pair had a solid start to their part­ner­ship fin­ish­ing sec­ond in Italy. Mar­shall slot­ted into his role along­side Pad­don quickly un­der race con­di­tions and the pair used their ex­pe­ri­ence to stay with the rally leader.

The pair have pre­pared well for Rally Por­tu­gal and the early call up won’t be too much of a worry for the English­man.

“I’ve done a lot of test­ing with Hayden this year and of course we did San Remo re­cently so that’s good re­ally. If I added it all up I’ve prob­a­bly had 15- odd days in the car with Hayden now.

“I feel for John not be­ing able to race this week­end, but I’m de­lighted to be able to race with Hayden and now the real work starts.

“At the elite level driv­ers have a lot of dif­fer­ent nu­ances and Hayden has a very dif­fer­ent pace note sys­tem to that of Kevin’s. From my point of view, I re­ally en­joy the chal­lenge of learn­ing and find­ing new ways of note tak­ing.

“You quickly get to know what pref­er­ences a driver likes his notes to be de­liv­ered, but in the end the longer the re­la­tion­ship the more in­tu­itive it be­comes.

“The idea this week­end is to have a good rally, stay out of trou­ble and build to­wards fu­ture events. We’ll do the best we can of course, and hope for a good re­sult,” Mar­shall said.

Mar­shall and Pad­don al­ready ap­pear to have a pretty good part­ner­ship and a solid base to build on for the rest of the year and beyond. It also helps that Ken­nard will be on hand at the ral­lies to pass on sage ad­vice to help guide his re­place­ment.

“Hav­ing a driver the cal­i­bre of Hayden, who is al­ready a rally win­ner, and John be­ing one of the best and most ex­pe­ri­enced co- driv­ers around has made the tran­si­tion so much eas­ier.

Pic­ture / McKlein

Cas­sidy, Lester to rise in Ja­pan Hayden Pad­don and Seb Mar­shall make a fly­ing start in Por­tu­gal. BASE­BALL CY­CLING FOOT­BALL GOLF

Pic­ture / AP

Valentino Rossi is seek­ing a bet­ter re­sult at Le Mans. Mo­tor rac­ing Eric Thomp­son

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