Pad­don tests for Otago as Martin joins in

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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.”

Pad­don has tested new Hyundai

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