All of us here at Bowater Hyundai are right behind Hayden Paddon on his quest to become a WRC World Champ. When we met him in 2015 for our event at Pro Karts we were collectively so impressed by his entire way of looking at things, so are not surprised to see him making such huge strides in a such a competitive motorsport.
Here is his report on his historic win, in his own words.
Well I'm sure you are all well aware of the outcome of Rally Argentina, a weekend that I will forever remember! But it doesn't only stand out as it was our first WRC victory, but also because of the fashion of how we won the rally - going to head to head with triple world champion, Sébastien Ogier. It was what I would sum up as a perfect weekend from start to finish – winning Shakedown, winning 5 stages, winning the power stage and of course the outright event by 14 seconds.
Going into the weekend, we were playing down our chances, as the traditionally rough roads and challenging conditions have not been a favorite in the past. However after the pre-event recce, it became clear that 75% of the new stages this year were a lot faster than normal, and with Sunday as an exception, the stages were also smoother.
Adding to this, Shakedown went very well. As we did not test prior to this event (our team mates both did testing in Europe between Mexico and Argentina which we opted to miss in turn for more testing for the European events) – we used the first run to run the same setup as we finished Mexico as a base. After a return to service, we bolted on the new suspension, which had different settings and immediately we went fastest on the second and third runs – the car was feeling and working better.
But even after all this, we remained grounded for the weekend ahead, with the same goal in mind – to have a clean rally and a top 5.