Paddon tests for Otago as Martin joins in
Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon has tested his i20 AP4 ahead of its debut on this weekend’s Otago Rally.
The Kiwi tested the car for a day in the North Island’s Maramarua forest. The reigning Otago winner is developing the four-wheeldrive machine for the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
Paddon told MN: “For a first test it was relatively successful. There were some small teething problems as you would expect, but I’m pleasantly surprised with how the car handled. The [1.8-litre] engine package we’re running is a temporary solution while we develop a 1.6-litre, and this one is quite peaky with a narrow power band. In general it’s a great platform to start with, easy to drive and easy to tune.”
Paddon will be joined in Otago by five-time world rally winner Markko Martin. The Estonian is taking over a Ford Escort RS1800 entry originally planned for Mikko Hirvonen who had to pull out. Martin will be co-driven by Stephane Prevot.
The Estonian finished second on February’s Boucles a Bastogne historic rally in Belgium driving an RS1800 and is looking forward to going down under.
“I have good memories from the World Rally Championship in New Zealand,” he said, “I’ve heard a lot of good things about this event.”