Staying in world championship just got harder for Paddon

By David Thomson on Sat, 17 Nov 2012

In one sense, the cold hard numbers on the 2012 S2000 World Rally Championship points table say it all.

First, Irishman Craig Breen, with 118 points earned through four round wins and a second place from the seven events he contested; runner-up, Sweden's P.G. Andersson, with 109 points, two round wins, two seconds and a third place; third, Yazeed Al Rajhi, with 88 points, two second placings, two thirds, and a couple of finishes outside the top three.

Fourth, Kiwi Hayden Paddon, with 78 points, and two round wins the only podium placings in a year he rates as "in all honesty, a season that I am happy to see the back of".

There's no doubt that had Paddon, who was more often than not the fastest S2000 driver in the field, found just a little more consistency for both himself and his Skoda Fabia, he would have been crowned champion after the final round in Spain last weekend.

That, in turn, would have made the next few months of his life - which will be dominated by the search to secure the funding needed to continue in world championship rallying in 2013 - quite a bit easier.

For those who consider more than the final championship standings when deciding where to put their sponsor's dollar, Paddon still has plenty to offer.

This year he has been quick, not just on gravel but increasingly on tarmac. His performance on the final two days in Spain, during which he was the fastest S2000 driver in all but one of the high-speed special stages, showed him at his best.

Paddon describes his plan for next season as "a work in progress", and I for one will be waiting with interest to see what transpires.

Sticking with motorsport, but looking back in time, it's nice - and a little different - to end this weekend's editorial with an invitation: Allan Scott, whose book on TWR Jaguars I reviewed in Drivesouth a few weeks back, is having a local launch of the work on Thursday, November 22.

The launch will be held from 6pm at the home of well-known Otago motorsport identities Ian and Glenda Begg, at Fairmile House, 1 Fairmile Dr, Mosgiel.

Allan has invited interested Drivesouth readers to attend, adding that Otago Sports Car Club, Vintage Car Club and Jaguar drivers are especially welcome.

Those intending to do so should phone Glenda on 027 208 3111 to confirm they will be attending.

David Thomson