NOV 20 2017 All Articles

Paddon and Marshall end season with podium place in Australia

The Hyundai pairing stated their goal for this rally was to relax, enjoy the stages and let the results come.

In Friday’s dusty forestry stages, Paddon struggled with engine power issues early on to go into the lunchtime service holding seventh overall. A strong fourth-fastest run on Friday afternoon’s SS5 elevated the kiwi/Brit pair to fifth, but tyre wear was among the reasons which saw them drop back to seventh by day’s end.

Paddon and Marshall go mudding on a Sunday

Saturday bought mixed weather conditions and a performance from Paddon and Marshall that was more representative of their abilities, as they moved up the leader-board to fifth overall following seven stages and 120 competitive kilometres (SS14 was cancelled due to a damaged bridge).

Heavy rain overnight meant Sunday’s stages featured mud and standing water, plus unpredictable showers added to the day’s challenges, creating trickier than expected conditions. Despite these challenges, Paddon and Marshall enjoyed their strongest day of the weekend, securing a stage win on SS18 in relatively good conditions while heavy rain affected most other competitors. With the demise of fourth-placed Craig Breen who rolled on that stage, the pair were on course to take fourth place overall. Then, the last minute drama of Jari-Matti Latvala crashing out of second place on the very last stage of the rally, the power stage, elevated Paddon and Marshall to third.

Back on the podium!

“It has been a difficult season for me,” Paddon says, “At least we have been able to bring the year to an end with a more representative result. We never want to score a podium through someone else’s misfortune, and it’s a shame for Jari-Matti, but it’s a nice result for us after a tough year."