21 May 2018

Paddon gearing up for Sardinia

4:16 pm on 21 May 2018

The New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon is confident he'll have recovered and be fit to race in next round of the World Rally Championship.

At the weekend Paddon crashed while leading the Rally of Portugal and had to be airlifted to hospital with a back injury.

He was kept in overnight for obesvation but released the next day and is now focusing on the Rally of Sardinia.

Paddon said the impact of the crash when he went off the road into a ditch made an old injury flare up but said a few days rest will have him right for Sardinia, with the race there from June 7-10th.

Hayden Paddon

Hayden Paddon Photo: Marcin Rybak Rallyart Photo

Paddon is competing in a reduced programme this year with Hyundai and was in just his second race of the season and despite the crash was pleased with they achieved.

"To be on the pace and leading the rally twice ..was encouraging," he said.

"Unfortunately, I made a small mistake to avoid a big rock on the inside of a corner. Carrying too much speed for the corner, we ran wide with the rear of the car into the ditch. A culvert in the ditch stopped us in our tracks, spinning the car 360 degrees back onto the road. The impact was over 15G."

"We still have some good things to take away from this weekend and are confident we will soon be on the podium. We are in the WRC to give it 100%."

The Rally of Sardinia is where Paddon former co-driver John Kennard scored their WRC podium finish when they finished there in 2015.