4 Jul 2015

Paddon climbs to 5th in Rally Poland

4:47 pm on 4 July 2015

The New Zealanders Hayden Paddon and co-driver John Kennard have made a strong start to Rally Poland to sit in 5th overall after the first full day of racing.

Hayden Paddon, Poland, 2015.

Hayden Paddon, Poland, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Frenchman Sebastien Ogier leads the rally by two seconds from fellow Volkswagon driver Andreas Mikkelson of Norway.

Paddon is 35 seconds off the pace.

Following the opening super special stage on day one, the New Zealanders climbed from 13th on the leader-board during day two's early morning's stages with a pair of fourth fastest times into fifth overall on stage four.

On the afternoon's repeated runs, Paddon was one of the few to opt for hard rubber, a choice that proved an advantage as the temperature soared to an unexpected 30 degrees.

Setting steady sixth and fourth quickest stage times, Paddon and Kennard held their Hyundai in the top five to complete the first full day.

"We struggled initially to pick up a rhythm and the pace notes were not working as well as we'd hoped," Paddon said.

"We will make some changes tonight to the car setup and pace notes to look for some improvements. It will be a big fight tomorrow to try and hold position with Robert Kubica and Thierry Neuville close behind."

Day three's itinerary will see a loop of four stages in the morning with the first three repeated in the afternoon run before an evening Super Special once again to be held at the Mikolajki Arena.