Hayden Paddon: Second in Sweden in 2016 – hopes to go one...

Hayden Paddon: Second in Sweden in 2016 – hopes to go one better in 2017

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Hyundai Motorsport’s Kiwi crew of Hayden Paddon and John Kennard put in an impressive display in Sweden in 2016. The duo claimed two stage wins on their way to second-place and are hopeful that they can produce a similarly strong performance when they take to this season’s stages.

Paddon said: “Rally Sweden is a bit of a winter wonderland. Along with Finland, it’s one of my favourites. It is very fast and filled with lots of jumps. The sensation of driving on snow and with the snow banks is like no other. We came second in Sweden last year and we’re hopeful that we can go one better this time out, especially given the speed of the new cars this season, and the potential shown by our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.”

Hayden Paddon: Second in Sweden in 2016 – hopes to go one better in 2017

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul put in a Monte-Carlo masterclass in the opening rally of the 2017. An unfortunate off ended their victory charge. Nonetheless, the Belgians are aiming to put that right in Sweden. Previous podium scorers in the event, having finished second in 2015, they are confident in their chances.

Neuville said: “Rally Sweden is a unique event on the calendar, as it is the only event where the cars are fitted with proper studded tyres on the snow for the duration of the rally. Also it is one of the fastest rallies of the season, with the average speeds through some of the stages higher than anywhere else that we’ll see this season. Obviously with the snow, the tyres and the high speeds, a lot of experience is necessary to mount a challenge, but I’m confident having competed here on many occasions. We have had some good results in previous years. We are looking forward to trying to build upon those with even more success – particularly after the promise and ultimate disappointment of Monte-Carlo.”

Dani Sordo and Marc Martí are hopeful that they can find a better rhythm from their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in Sweden.

Sordo said: “I think that everyone involved with the team would agree that Rally Sweden is a very special event. If we can get good conditions on the road with the snow and the snowbanks, it becomes a really enjoyable event, because the speed gets quicker and quicker. We had a good finish in Monte-Carlo, so we are looking to push on from there and try our best to get a strong result in Sweden.”

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