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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 - Campbell returns to form at Far North Rally

Tauranga’s Phil Campbell has ended a run of more than a year struggling for results with a close fought runner up spot at the Far North Rally, run out of Paihia over the weekend.

After finding a centre differential issue that plagued the team across the 2016 season over the off season, an early mechanical failure put him out of his only appearance to date in 2017.

Campbell teamed up with co-driver Matt Hayward for the first time but the pair were immediately on the pace and set the third fastest time on the opening stage.

A heavy coating of gravel hampered Campbell, who was running third car on the road, through the second special stage however he was able to record the fifth fastest time, dropping him to fifth. With the third stage being cancelled and a third fastest time through stage four, Campbell would start the afternoon’s loop of three stages in fourth place and well in the hunt for a podium finish.

The afternoon saw Campbell mount a charge and he immediately topped the time sheets through stage five, then dominated stage six with a time 16 seconds faster than any of the chasing pack to move into second place.

That left a gap of just over 11 seconds heading to the final stage and with new tyres bolted on, an all-out attack was on the cards. Campbell flew through the stage to take a third co

nsecutive stage win, but was only able to reduce the margin to 9.6 seconds, leaving him to take the runner up spot. “It was great for us to have a clean run and be back on the pace, it does a heap for the confidence so I’m looking forward to Coromandel now,” said Campbell. “That last stage was awesome, we were absolutely tapped, that’s why we go rallying.”

The Campbell Rallysport Team now look forward to Rally Coromandel on August 26.

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 - Motorsport: Time for NZ to get serious about motorsport

Herald writer Dale Budge says we need to invest more in motorsport.

It is time the government and sports funding agencies sat up and took notice of what Kiwis are achieving on the global motorsport stage.

The reality is we are in the middle of a golden era of Kiwi motorsport and now would be the time to capitalize by ensuring the next generation follows in the footsteps of the current one.

No other sport succeeds as much on the world stage with almost no funding from Sport NZ or the like. It seems a stark comparison to sports like rowing, cycling and sailing, who have all been rewarded with an increase of funding whenever they have enjoyed success.

Over the weekend Shell V-Power Ford drivers Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin each won a race in the Supercars championship in Darwin. That lifts the tally of Kiwi wins to 11 from 12 races so far this season with defending champion Shane van Gisbergen the other New Zealander to collect wins in the category. Coulthard leads McLaughlin by 10 points in the championship with van Gisbergen fourth. It seems like it will be a battle between the New Zealanders for the title this season.

Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber produced a stunning comeback, along with German teammate Timo Bernhard, to win the famous Le Mans 24 Hour Race with the Porsche factory team after earlier spending over 90 minutes in the pits with a mechanical issue. Yes it took a number of other cars to fall over but the Kiwis and Bernhard fought back superbly to steal victory. The fact both young New Zealanders are even in the Porsche factory team is a testament to what they have achieved in Europe in recent seasons. Scott Dixon leads the IndyCar championship in the United States and remains head and shoulders the best driver in the field. He is closing in on some incredible career numbers that would have him in the discussion as being the greatest driver in the category's history.

Speedway driver Michael Pickens has just returned from the United States where he took his small, Kiwi midget team to the Illinois and Indiana Speed Weeks and beat the best professional drivers on the planet including NASCAR star Kyle Larson.

WRC star Hayden Paddon hasn't had such a successful year so far in 2017 but he has found himself winning stages and leading rallies in the past two events and remains one of the brightest prospects in the sport.

Drifting hero Mad Mike Whiddett is a global star and has more Facebook followers than any New Zealand sports star - easily more than the likes of Richie McCaw, Sonny Bill Williams, Steven Adams or Joseph Parker.

Mitch Evans, Richie Stanaway, Nick Cassidy and Marcus Armstrong are doing great things in various parts of the world as well.

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 - Barker Makes Rally Return Up North

Stephen Barker is set to compete at this weekend’s Rally of the Far North. Having not competed for 5 years the former New Zealand 2wd Champion is looking forward to being back competing on the northern roads.

Working for Rallydrive New Zealand Barker is not shy of seat time. Most weekends he can be found in the Maramarua forest taking people for hot lap rally car rides or teaching the art of driving a car on gravel. “I have done a few events over the past few years driving the zero car but haven’t actually competed, but thanks to the support of a few businesses and people I can finally get back out on the stages competing.”

Growing up in Northland the roads are familiar to Barker, Sitting alongside Barker and guiding him through the stages is Co Driver Kieran Anstis “ I have great memories from Rally Of The North after finishing 3rd overall at the event in 2015, Stephen is an extremely talented and experienced driver and I’m really looking forward to the event

After not competing for a number of years Barkers Number goal is just to get to the finish “I have to put the car back in the workshop the same condition as it left, so we will be taking a steady approach and just enjoy the roads”

Barker would like to thank the following sponsors Rallydrive NZ // Hughes Transport // A Little Bit Sideways & Local Support from Bakerboys Wholesale Nursery // Elsewhere Hair Salon & Waipapa Autocourt.

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 - Disappointment for Paddon and Marshall in Sardinia

Hayden Paddon and co-driver Sebastian Marshall experienced the highs of leading Rally Italia Sardegna for eight of the rally’s 19 special stages, and the lows of crashing – twice – to end their hopes of a strong finish.

The Kiwi-Brit pair headed to the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship seeking to find the passion and enjoyment of competing at the highest level of world rallying.

Fifth equal in Thursday night’s super special stage in Alghero, Paddon and Marshall enjoyed a very consistent day of top three and top five stage times on Friday to take the lead in special stage five – so the pre-event plan seemed to be working well. Despite a small suspension issue later in the day, the pair managed to slightly extend their leading margin to 8.2 seconds over Hyundai Motorsport team-mate Thierry Neuville.

“I’m really happy to be leading at the end of the day,” said Paddon as Friday’s eight stages concluded. “It’s been a tough day. Today’s stages were very tight and technical and maybe didn’t suit us, but we had a plan which was to keep it clean and tidy today. Too often this year we’ve been caught out on the Friday, so today was a nice, clean day with no risks. To be leading is a nice surprise. We had a couple of issues that we had to manage this afternoon with a small suspension problem, but we didn’t lose too much time and we were able to keep the lead. That’s important for Saturday as that now gives us a good road position to be at the back of the field, so that will help us. Now that we’re in this position, we want to fight. Tomorrow’s stages I enjoy a lot more and we’ll push a lot more as well and see if we can defend it. Looking forward to a good day tomorrow and to continue like this.”

Starting Saturday with the road-clearing benefit of running last among the WRC competitors (the running order being the reverse of the rally classification), Paddon and Marshall scored their first stage win of the weekend in SS10 as they set about extending their advantage. The pair set the second-quickest times on the next two stages to create a 9.4-second gap to Ott Tanak in second place by lunchtime service, and things were looking good as they began the afternoon loop. However, they clipped a bank before the first split in SS13, which caused damage to the #4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Despite completing the stage with a time loss of 1m20s, Paddon was unable to continue and was forced to temporarily withdraw.

Of Saturday’s incident, Paddon said: “I am devastated. It was such a schoolboy error, which caused us to break the rear wheel. I turned in too early and clipped a bank. That was that. There is no one to blame but myself, and I am hugely sorry for the team and all of our supporters. It’s important that I learn from this and do all I can to put things right at the next event. Things were going so well and we were maintaining our lead, which makes it even more frustrating.”

They re-joined under Rally 2 regulations on Sunday, which means they received assigned times for the remaining two Saturday stages putting them in 12th place overall on the rally classification prior to Sunday’s final four stages. Sunday’s running order put Paddon and Marshall 10th on the road after the other WRC competitors. Paddon and Marshall looked on course to finish in style, taking a stage win on Sunday’s opening stage, and were seventh in the next stage. Unfortunately, in SS18, they crashed again in an incident similar to the one that forced them to retire on Saturday, putting them out of the rally. A WRC TV crew reported that Paddon went off on a right hander. The car went onto two wheels and crashed heavily into a dry stone wall. Both Paddon and Marshall were physically unharmed, but the special stage was stopped for following competitors.

Paddon said: “After Saturday’s misfortune, we wanted to use today to get back into a rhythm. Things started out well with a stage win, but that was the extent of our positives from today. In the penultimate stage, we had another very strange incident on a ‘nothing’ corner, where like yesterday I clipped the inside, which sent us wide. I don’t know why this is happening. I am incredibly disappointed in myself and for the team. I want to learn from this but at the same time put it behind us and look ahead to Poland.”

For the team, Hyundai Motorsport extended its run of consecutive podium finishes in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship with Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul securing a hard-fought third place finish. Dani Sordo and Marc Marti also won a number of stages in this rally, but a turbo issue on Friday left the pair 12th at the finish and ruing what might have been.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We have to reflect on this rally with the realistic fact that we have lost ground to M-Sport in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Our congratulations to them, and to Ott Tanak for his debut WRC win. We just had too many issues this weekend, and missed the chance to assert our authority on the event, as we should have. All crews showed their potential with eight stage wins in total but it wasn’t to be. Of course, it’s frustrating but we have to learn from this and regroup for the next event in Poland. A podium is still a decent result and Thierry has closed the gap to Ogier by a few points in the Drivers’ Championship. The team has worked hard this weekend, so we will gladly take the consolatory podium, all things considered.”

Paddon and Marshall return to WRC competition with the 29 June-2 July running of Rally Poland, where Paddon will be keen to secure a solid result.

Paddon and Hayden Paddon RallySport Global (HPRG) Ltd appreciates the support of their exclusive partners, Hyundai New Zealand, Pak’nSave and Z Energy, and associate sponsors Scott Sports and All About Signs Timaru. ENDS/

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 - Consolatory podium for Hyundai Motorsport in Rally Italia Sardegna
  • Hyundai Motorsport extended its run of consecutive podium finishes in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship with a third place finish in Rally Italia Sardegna
  • Thierry Neuville closed the gap in the Drivers’ Championship with his fifth top-three finish of the season and continuing his unbroken run of Power Stage points
  • Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo both scored stage wins on the final day of action to take the team’s 2017 tally to 48 – the highest in any season to date after just seven rallies.

Alghero, Sardinia

June 11, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport has salvaged a third-place podium finish in this weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna, round seven of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), after a difficult weekend for the team.

All three of the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crews showed the pace to compete for victory. Neuville and Sordo experienced car-related problems, which prevented them from capitalising on their potential, while Paddon twice crashed out.

After 19 special stages, including this morning’s repeated loop of the 14.06km Cala Flumini and 6.96km Sassari-Argentiera tests, Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul cemented third position, their fifth consecutive podium this season.

Dani Sordo and Marc Martí completed the rally as the second best placed Hyundai Motorsport crew, following an accident for Hayden Paddon and Seb Marshall in SS18 (Cala Flumini 2). The Kiwi and Briton crashed their #4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC at a right-hander, but were thankfully unharmed, although their rally was brought to a premature end.

Sardinia statistics

It had been a more positive morning for Paddon up to that point, following a frustrating Saturday, as he claimed his second stage win of the weekend in the opening run through Cala Flumini.

Sordo maintained the team’s momentum into SS17 (Sassari-Argentiera) with his fourth stage win of the Sardinia event. Those results have taken Hyundai Motorsport’s total stage wins for 2017 to 48, the highest number for the team in any of its WRC seasons to date.

It also represented the second rally in a row in which all three Hyundai Motorsport crews scored stage wins, underpinning the feeling of what might have been this weekend without the various issues.

Both Sordo and Neuville added important Power Stage points to their drivers’ totals, finishing second and fourth respectively in the final stage of the rally.

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville and Gilsoul were left lamenting brake dramas on Saturday that halted their charge for a second consecutive Sardinia victory. The Belgians still took their third podium in a row on the Mediterranean island, matching their 2015 result. Neuville has scored Power Stage points in each of the rallies so far this season, and with today’s result slightly closes the gap to Championship leader Sébastien Ogier.

Neuville commented: “Overall it has been a positive rally, even though we are disappointed at not being able to fight for the victory this weekend. We were just unlucky with a brake issue on Saturday that lost us over a minute, which we were not able to get back. To score a podium in this tough rally is still good and extends our run of positive results this season. I gave everything I could in the Power Stage but the road conditions didn’t really suit us and we weren’t able to raise the ride height enough. Still, we took a few more points and should be reasonably satisfied. We have closed the gap to Ogier ever so slightly but we know it will need a big push into this second half of the season to catch him.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

With four stage wins over the course of the rally, Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí demonstrated strong potential on each of the three days. It is the most stage wins for the pair in a single event as a Hyundai Motorsport crew, emphasising just what might have been possible this weekend. They also doubled their season total of Power Stage points with an assertive second place in SS19.

Sordo commented: “A much better way for us to end the rally today compared to the frustrations of earlier in the event! I was happy to take a stage win this morning, our fourth of the weekend. We wanted to save our tyres for a good push in the Power Stage and we did just that. It wasn’t easy but I am happy to take some points away from this event. Without the turbo issues we had on Friday, we would have been more firmly in the hunt for a podium but we can do nothing about that now. We will just focus on the next rally in Poland and target a more representative result for us and the team.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Paddon and Marshall had looked on course to finish Rally Italia Sardegna in style after taking a stage win on the morning’s opening pass. Unfortunately, the crew experienced an incident similar to the one that forced them to retire on Saturday, ending any hopes of Power Stage points.

Paddon said: “After Saturday’s misfortune, we wanted to use today to get back into a rhythm. Things started out well with a stage win, but that was the extent of our positives from today. In the penultimate stage, we had another very strange incident on a ‘nothing’ corner, where like yesterday I clipped the inside, which sent us wide. I don’t know why this is happening. I am incredibly disappointed in myself and for the team. I want to learn from this but at the same time put it behind us and look ahead to Poland.”

Realistic reflections

Hyundai Motorsport has seen the gap to Manufacturers’ Championship leaders M-Sport increase to 40 points after more missed opportunities in Sardinia. Despite scoring more stage wins and showing strength across all three crews, the team can only take minimal consolation from a solitary podium this weekend.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We have to reflect on this rally with the realistic fact that we have lost ground to M-Sport in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Our congratulations to them, and to Ott Tanak for his debut WRC win. We just had too many issues this weekend, and missed the chance to assert our authority on the event, as we should have. All crews showed their potential with eight stage wins in total but it wasn’t to be. Of course, it’s frustrating but we have to learn from this and regroup for the next event in Poland. A podium is still a decent result and Thierry has closed the gap to Ogier by a few points in the Drivers’ Championship. The team has worked hard this weekend, so we will gladly take the consolatory podium, all things considered.”

Preparing for Poland

WRC continues its run of gravel events onto Rally Poland later this month, round eight of the 13-rally Championship.

Taking place from 29 June to 2 July, the event will be run over 23 stages. It’s an event favoured by Hyundai Motorsport as the scene of podium finishes for Thierry Neuville in 2014, and Hayden Paddon last season.

Final Overall Classification - Rally Italia Sardegna

1 O. Tanak M. Jarveoja Ford Fiesta WRC 3:25:15.1

2 J.M Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +12.3

3 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:07.7

4 E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +2:12.9 5

S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC +3:25.3

6 J. Hänninen K. Lindstrom Toyota Yaris WRC +3:38.5

7 M. Østberg O. Floene Ford Fiesta WRC +6:31.8

8 A. Mikkelsen A. Jaeger Citroën C3 WRC +8:07.8

9 E. Camilli B. Veillas Ford Fiesta R5 +11:15.8

10 J. Kopecky P. Dresler Škoda Fabia R5 +11:21.

11 O.C Veiby S. Skjaemoen Škoda Fabia R5 +13:37.8

12 D. Sordo M. Martí Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +17:02.8

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 - Hyundai Motorsport’s victory charge halted as Sardinia bites back
  • All three Hyundai Motorsport crews experienced difficulties on the penultimate day of Rally Italia Sardegna, hampering the team’s push for victory
  • Hayden Paddon was forced to relinquish a near ten-second lead of the rally after hitting a bank in SS13, causing damage to his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC which forced him to retire for the day
  • Thierry Neuville holds third position despite battling brake problems in SS12, while Dani Sordo endured a puncture and paddleshift issues as he tried to bounce back from his Friday woes.

Alghero, Sardinia

June 10, 2017 – A dramatic penultimate day in Rally Italia Sardegna saw Hyundai Motorsport’s crews all run into trouble as they jostled for position at the front of the field. From chasing potential victory with two crews at the start of the day, it was all change by the end of Saturday’s 143.16km of special stages.

Beginning Saturday’s morning loop as rally leaders, Hayden Paddon and Seb Marshall scored their first stage win of the weekend in SS10 (Coiluna-Loelle) as they set about extending their advantage. With a 9.4-second gap to second place by lunchtime service, things were looking good as they began the afternoon loop. However, they clipped a bank before the first split in SS13 (Coiluna-Loelle 2), which caused damage to the #4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Despite completing the stage with a time loss of 1m20, Paddon was unable to continue.

Podium promotion

There was also drama for Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul as they looked to consolidate a podium place in the morning. Taking a stage win in SS11 (Monti di Alá), their second of the weekend, the Belgians then ran into difficulties on the first run through Monte Lerno (SS12) and the famous Micky’s Jump. Suffering from brake problems, they nursed their #5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC through with a 1m10 time deficit, dropping to fourth overall. With Paddon’s retirement, they were promoted back into a podium position during the afternoon.

After their turbo dramas on Friday, Dani Sordo and Marc Martí were hoping to push on Saturday’s six stages. As first on the road, they were tasked with sweeping the dusty stages. Paddleshift issues in SS11 and a puncture in SS13 hampered their progress but they will be hoping to salvage some points from a tough weekend, as they begin Sunday in 14th place overall.

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville and Gilsoul seemed on course for another victory challenge in the morning loop as they kept in touch with their rally-leading teammates Paddon and Marshall. Brake problems in SS12 put a halt to that charge but they were able to put the disappointment behind them to complete the afternoon with more competitive times and to consolidate a podium position in third.

Neuville commented: “It was a frustrating morning but we are still in with a shout of the podium so we can’t be too disheartened. There have been issues for most crews so, on balance, we have to accept these things can happen at tough rallies like Sardinia. After our win in SS11, we had brake issues and we lost over a minute in SS12. We knew we were battling for the win and without this problem we would most likely have been leading at the end of Saturday. But this is rallying. The mechanics did a fantastic job to fix the car during lunchtime service. It was tight but they really allowed us to keep going into the afternoon loop, and to continue our fight for the podium. We will do all we can on the final day to consolidate this third place, and who knows what other twists this rally has to come!”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí were always going to be at a disadvantage on Saturday’s stages, starting first on the road after their Friday troubles. They persevered despite the circumstances and also battled with paddleshift problems and a puncture as they chase a points-finish this weekend.

Sordo commented: “We knew it would be a tough day from our starting position on the road, but we haven’t given up and just wanted to enjoy the stages. Frustratingly, we had a paddleshift problem in SS11 this morning. The upshift was working fine but we couldn’t downshift. The first run through Monte Lerno was better, though. In the afternoon, we picked up a puncture after about 1km into the first stage but again we just fought through as best we could.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Following a consistent Friday, in which they moved to the top of the classification, Paddon and Marshall wanted to increase control of the rally during Saturday’s stages. A stage win was the perfect way to start the day, but they were forced to retire after SS13 due to damage sustained after a hitting a bank. They will re-join under Rally 2 on Sunday.

Paddon said: “I am devastated. It was such a schoolboy error, which caused us to break the rear wheel. I turned in too early and clipped a bank. That was that. There is no one to blame but myself, and I am hugely sorry for the team and all of our supporters. It’s important that I learn from this and do all I can to put things right at the next event. Things were going so well and we were maintaining our lead, which makes it even more frustrating.”

Finish with a flourish

All three of the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crews have shown rally winning potential in Sardinia this weekend, but the team is now targeting a consolatory podium on Sunday. The team has secured top-three results at all gravel events so far this season, and has finished on the Sardinia podium in the past two seasons.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “What a day! Sardinia is an incredibly tough event but all three of our crews have had problems today, which make it even more frustrating. Firstly, Hayden has been gracious in acknowledging the incident in SS13 that ended his chance of victory. Thierry saw his opportunity to fight for victory hampered by a brake problem in SS12, but he is still in with a chance of continuing his podium run, which would be a small consolation for everyone this weekend. We can’t be happy with where we are because we have shown that we have multiple crews who were capable of battling for the win. All we can do is understand what has happened and resolve to improve for future events. A podium in Sardinia is no mean feat, so we will focus on securing that on Sunday, and seeing if our crews can score themselves some Power Stage points with the performance of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.”

Sunday at a glance

The final day of Rally Italia Sardegna takes in four stages – a repeat loop of the 14.06km Cala Flumini stage and the 6.96km Sassari-Argentieri test. Just 42.04km of stages will be contested, offering all crews a final opportunity to shine under the Sardinian sun.

Overall Classification after Day Two

1 O. Tanak M. Jarveoja Ford Fiesta WRC 2:56:37.3

2 J.M Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +24.3

3 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:02.2

4 E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +2:10.8

5 J. Hänninen K. Lindstrom Toyota Yaris WRC +2:42.1

6 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC +3:26.1

7 M. Østberg O. Floene Ford Fiesta WRC +3:56.0

8 A. Mikkelsen A. Jaeger Citroën C3 WRC +7:47.6

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 - Hyundai Motorsport leads close fight in Sardinia with 1-2 on Friday
  • Hyundai Motorsport holds first and second position at the end of the opening day of Rally Italia Sardegna, round seven of the 13-round FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
  • Hayden Paddon leads the way with an 8.2-second advantage over his Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team colleague, and last year’s Sardinia winner, Thierry Neuville
  • Dani Sordo claimed three stage wins on Friday but turbo-related problems on his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cost him significant time and dropped him down the classification.

Alghero, Sardinia

June 9, 2017 – Hyundai Motorsport has ended the opening day of this weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna, the seventh round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) holding an encouraging 1-2 after nine of the scheduled 19 stages.

Hayden Paddon and his co-driver Seb Marshall lead the rally by a decent margin of 8.2-seconds following a consistent day for the recently formed partnership. The #4 crew were regularly inside the top-five throughout Friday, moving into the lead shortly before lunchtime service and increasing their advantage in the afternoon loop.

Stage impressions

Twice a rally winner already this season, Thierry Neuville fought valiantly to second place overall despite being second on the road in the dusty Sardinian stages. It was a day of mixed fortunes, however, for Dani Sordo as the Spaniard took three stage wins but lost around 14 minutes of time in total due to a turbo problem on his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

Road position can play an influential role in Sardinia with those running later in the order often benefitting from cleaner conditions. Friday’s itinerary took in the greatest number of stages of the weekend – a repeat loop of four stages each ranging from 14.5km to just over 19km in length. In hot conditions and under sunny skies, all three Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team crews showed strong pace, but with 14.7-seconds separating the top-five, it promises to be another close-run rally.

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

In their second rally as a crew, Paddon and Marshall got to grips quickly with the Sardinian stages. Paddon made his Hyundai Motorsport debut in this event three years ago, and finished on the podium in 2015. He knows from experience that playing a long game can often deliver the best results.

Paddon said: “We approached today with a specific plan, and we didn’t deviate from that. We know you can’t win this rally on the first day, so we just wanted to feel comfortable. The car felt good and we wanted to continue our positive morning into the afternoon. Unfortunately, we picked up front-left damper damage in SS7, which changed the balance of the car; things didn’t feel as good. Our focus today was on securing a good road position for tomorrow, so it’s mission accomplished from that point of view. I enjoy tomorrow’s stages a lot but we know it’s a tough, unforgiving rally. It’s nice to be leading this evening but we’re not getting carried away.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul scored their 30th stage win of the season in the rally-opening super special at the Ittiri Arena Show on Thursday evening. Aside from a small error in the morning’s second stage, the Belgian crew are in good shape at the event they won just twelve months ago.

Neuville commented: “It was nice to take the stage win on Thursday evening but today was the real start of the rally. We had a good day, although we lost around five seconds when we went straight at a junction in SS3 (Monte Olia), and had to reverse. Our road position meant we were cleaning quite a bit but I thought we might still be able to battle for a podium. We gave it a push in the afternoon, and actually didn’t have much performance left in our tyres by the end of the loop. Still, we set some pretty decent times and we have a great position in second, which will be important on Saturday.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Sordo and his co-driver Marc Martí showed their potential in the morning loop with a stage win in SS4 (Tula 1). They then experienced a turbo issue midway through SS5 (Tergu-Osilo), which slowed their arrival at stage-end. The team made a big effort to fix the problem during lunchtime service, but at the start of the afternoon a low boost pressure, caused the crew to lose more time. The Spaniards fixed it before the final two stages and were immediately back on the pace – claiming stage wins in SS8 (Tula 2) and SS9 (Tergu-Osilo 2) in dominant fashion.

Sordo commented: “To start with the positives, we have enjoyed these stages today and set some really competitive times when we could. Unfortunately, the turbo issue has overshadowed the day a bit. The team did all they could to resolve the problem fully at lunchtime service, but we then had troubles at the start of the afternoon loop related to the boost pressure. Thankfully, we were able to fix it in time for the final two stages, so we decided to go flat out and see what we could do. To take three stage wins today is obviously nice. Without the turbo issues, we might have been in the hunt for a podium. We will continue tomorrow but we know it’s going to be tough.”

Anything can happen

Rally Italia Sardegna has regularly delivered good memories for Hyundai Motorsport from the team’s 2-3 result with Paddon and Neuville in 2015, to Neuville’s spectacular victory last season. However, with plenty of drivers competing for the top-five, and the unpredictability of hot, punishing stages, anything could yet happen.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “All in all, we have had a promising start. It is great to see Hayden and Seb leading the way in just their second WRC rally together. They have enjoyed a consistent start to the event, and have taken a measured approach on this first day. We know that it’s not easy to be early on the road in Sardinia. Considering that, Thierry and Nicolas have performed very strongly today to be in second place. Unfortunately, for Dani and Marc, their turbo issue has cost them a lot of time. We will have to investigate closely what happened. It was clear from their three stage wins that they had the speed and performance to compete at the front this weekend. It’s a long, hot rally and lots can still happen. We have had good results in the past and also scored podiums on gravel this season with our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, but we can’t take anything for granted with such close competition.”

Saturday at a glance

Crews will tackle the greatest distance of any day on Saturday with 143.16km of special stages across a repeated loop of three stages.

The 14.95km Coiluna-Loelle test will get things underway bright and early before crews move onto the longest individual stage of the entire rally - the 28.52km Monti di Alá.

Completing the loop will be the slightly shorter 28.11km Monte Lerno stage, a rough and rocky test known for the infamous Micky’s Jump.

Overall Classification after Day One 1

H. Paddon S. Marshall Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 1:31:02.6

2 T. Neuville N. Gilsoul Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +8.2

3 O. Tanak M. Jarveoja Ford Fiesta WRC +9.5

4 J.M Latvala M. Anttila Toyota Yaris WRC +9.8

5 M. Østberg O. Floene Ford Fiesta WRC +14.7

6 J. Hänninen K. Lindstrom Toyota Yaris WRC +38.0

7 S. Ogier J. Ingrassia Ford Fiesta WRC +41.0

8 E. Lappi J. Ferm Toyota Yaris WRC +1:05.3

9 A. Mikkelsen A. Jaeger Citroën C3 WRC +1:57.9

10 E. Camilli B. Veillas Ford Fiesta R5 +4:08.0

Fri, 9 Jun 2017 - Canterbury throws Mainland title race wide open

A third-round winner in as many events has seen the Stadium Finance Mainland Rally Series thrown wide open after Matt Summerfield and co-driving sister Nicole took victory on their home event, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, the third event of the series.

The Summerfield’s fought off an intense battle with round one winners Darren Galbraith/Rocky Hudson, who retired after stage five, to take victory with a fast finishing Deane Buist/Karl Celeste taking second and Dave Quantock with daughter Emma co-driving rounding out the podium. Keith Anderson/Samantha Gray missed out on a podium finish by just 5.4 seconds, while Richard Bateman/Jordyn Smith completed the top five.

Jonothan Taylor continued his domination of class A (0-1300cc 2WD) with a third consecutive class win, this time with Kyle Robertson in the co-drivers seat, while Steve Cattermole/Sharisse Guckert took victory in Class B (1301-1600cc 2WD). The pair led home Mike Sheehan/Sarah Faulkner and Russell Burgess/William Shortus.

Class C for 1601+cc two-wheel drive cars went the way of Buist, who put on a master class in treacherous conditions, to finish more than ten minutes ahead of Marcus van Klink/Dave Neill and Tony Gosling/Blair Read.

Class D (Four-wheel drive) results accounted for four of the top five competitors, with the Summerfields leading home the Quantocks and the Anderson/Gray combination.

Class E (Pre-1996 Four-wheel drive) saw another strong result for Garet and Gemma Thomas who led home Phil Collins/Tracy Spark, the latter surviving a day of drama just to make the finish.

Class F for Historic cars saw Graeme Coey/Tony Witheridge take victory after the pace setter for most of the day, Regan Ross and Lisa Hudson, dropped back on the penultimate stage with electrical problems to finish third.

The driver’s championship is now heating up with Summerfield (58), Buist (54), Bateman (53), van Klink (51) and Ross (50) all separated by just eight points as the series heads to the next round, Rally Nelson, on July 8.

Recent Results
PosCrewTotal
1L. Robson / G. Goldring (8)1:20:46.8
2P. Campbell / M. Hayward (3)+9.6
3S. Barker / K. Anstis (9)+38.7
4B. Hunt / J. Cress (2)+1:00.1
5A. Bligh / C. MacIver (6)+1:33.1
6W. Redfern / R. Bartels (7)+2:39.4
7M. Adams / K. Adams (14)+2:53.2
8N. Allport / R. Allport (11)+3:22.7
9K. Scherer / D. Hinton (15)+3:26.3
10C. Adnitt / A. Conaghan (12)+3:45.2
11B. Green / F. Pedersen (10)+4:59.9
12B. Oakden / L. Malley (18)+5:21.8
13R. Wilson / R. Scott (16)+5:52.2
14N. Tough / A. Smith (35)+5:59.8
15D. Perry / D. Christie (13)+6:00.6
16C. Evans / J. Post (22)+6:28.6
17G. Goudie / M. Goudie (20)+7:00.8
18J. Sharp / J. Pepene (32)+7:27.2
19W. Pittams / N. Moloney (19)+8:20.2
20B. Gibbs / C. Gibbs (42)+8:44.3
21R. Sutton / B. Sutton (43)+8:53.5
22D. Adnitt / T. Mabbett (37)+9:17.9
23J. Glavish / M. Brunt (24)+9:28.2
24A. Smith / B. Huband (33)+9:40.2
25R. Langdon / J. Pepper (34)+10:16.2
26J. Whooley / C. Liston (27)+10:33.5
27P. Adams / D. McFarlane (25)+11:12.2
28D. Malley / B. Little (31)+12:47.8
29M. Wheatley / E. Gathercole (40)+13:52.5
30S. Annesley / D. Robb (28)+15:00.9
31K. Preest / T. Corbin (44)+15:48.6
32P. Walbran / A. Walbran (45)+19:06.9
33J. Coker / M. Mack (47)+31:18.5
34K. Douglas / D. Thomson (17)+6:28.2
35A. Gilmour / G. Gilmour (30)+17:39.5
PosCrewTotal
1M. Summerfield / N. Summerfield (2)2:14:12.2
2B. Hunt / T. Rawstorn (3)+2:16.2
3D. Buist / K. Celeste (21)+3:42.4
4J. Marston / A. Graves (10)+4:03.8
5R. Gardner / A. Ramsay (9)+4:20.8
6A. Hawkeswood / J. Cress (1)+4:59.5
7A. Jones / T. Gwynne (25)+7:48.6
8J. Quantock / J. Farmer (13)+7:56.1
9D. Quantock / E. Quantock (26)+8:52.7
10K. Anderson / S. Gray (16)+8:58.1
11G. Murphy / M. Leonard (51)+9:59.7
12R. Bateman / J. Smith (18)+11:43.4
13M. Tregilgas / G. Goldring (33)+12:31.2
14M. Klink / D. Neill (22)+14:54.0
15R. Lang / S. Gardiner (31)+16:18.0
16T. Gosling / B. Read (24)+17:13.7
17F. Merkin / S. Everson (39)+17:38.9
18G. Thomas / G. Thomas (27)+18:14.8
19J. Shapley / S. Byrne (38)+20:04.6
20S. Cattermole / S. Guckert (54)+22:52.0
21B. Brown / T. Cresswell (44)+22:55.3
22P. Collins / T. Spark (40)+23:20.6
23L. Owen / J. Brenssell (41)+23:50.5
24M. Sheehan / S. Faulkner (47)+24:41.9
25G. Coey / T. Witheridge (49)+25:46.9
26H. Spatcher / I. Brough (46)+28:21.9
27P. Fraser / N. Moloney (60)+29:07.1
28A. McLean / F. Stewart (59)+30:08.9
29A. Sim / C. Sim (36)+31:00.2
30R. Burgess / W. Shortus (79)+35:57.6
31I. Elliot / T. Milliken (67)+36:59.1
32D. Taylor / P. Huntley (53)+38:58.3
33A. Bligh / R. Chalmers (15)+39:27.0
34R. Ross / L. Hudson (20)+42:42.4
35J. Taylor / K. Robertson (71)+46:29.9
36M. Cameron / H. Cameron (73)+48:28.9
37G. Wilson / L. Jolly (70)+1:09:13.5
38S. Haggerty / S. Sands (42)+1:13:52.7
39D. Thomson / A. Hudson (32)+1:03:06.3
40S. Thornley / A. Thornley (72)+43:37.1
2017 Points
1S. Ogier141
2T. Neuville123
3O. Tanak108
4J.M Latvala107
5D. Sordo70
6E. Evans53
7C. Breen43
8H. Paddon33
9J. Hänninen29
10K. Meeke27
1Fabian Coulthard (Ford)1330
2Scott McLaughlin (Ford)1320
3Jamie Whincup (Holden)1314
4Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden)1152
5Chaz Mostert (Ford)1026
6Craig Lowndes (Holden)924
6Mark Winterbottom (Ford)924
8David Reynolds (Holden)903
9Cameron Waters (Ford)889
10Garth Tander (Holden)888
1Matt Summerfield77
2Rhys Gardner67
3Andrew Hawkeswood63
4Graham Featherstone51
5Ben Hunt50
6Dylan Turner47
7Job Quantock43
8David Holder41
9Tony Gosling37
10Dave Strong30
1Matt Summerfield58
2Deane Buist54
3Richard Bateman53
4Marcus Van Klink51
4Regan Ross51
6David Quantock43
7Jeff Judd39
8Carter Strang34
8Darren Galbraith34
10Keith Anderson32
1Warwick Redfern59
2Matt Adams50
3Adam Bligh32
3Doug Adnitt32
5Dylan Thomson23
6Carl Adnitt21
7Jack Williamson20
8Daniel Alexander19
9Justin Glavish16
9Paul Fraser16
1Mark Kirk-Burnnand176
2Martin Dippie172
2Tony Quinn172
4Ivan Knauf162
5Chris West156
5Graeme Coley156
5Joe Kouwenhoven156
5Leigh Hopper156
9Mike Lea149
9Robert Darrington149