Tough week for Paddon

By Catherine Pattison on Sat, 9 Sep 2017

This week brought news that no Kiwi rally fan wanted to hear: a change in the Hyundai Motorsport's World Rally Championship team line-up has left New Zealand's Hayden Paddon out of a drive for next month's Rally Spain.

It was a tough blow for Paddon, who has had a year to forget and is currently languishing in ninth place overall on the points table; a far cry from his fourth place at the culmination of 2016. Paddon acknowledged the decision to replace him is part of the ‘‘cut throat reality of professional sport'', but vowed to use the two remaining WRC rallies to show what he is capable of.

‘‘This whole situation only fuels the fire more and I will not let 20 years of hard work, tears, sacrifice by myself and many others go to waste over a few bad events,'' Paddon wrote on his Facebook page.

Change is as inevitable in motorsport, as it is in life and looking around the other categories currently racing, it is evident everywhere.
The 2017 South Island Endurance Series (SIES) begins its three-round competition this weekend and some of the new cars debuted by Otago drivers are featured in my story below.

Inky Tulloch has left a sizeable hole in the SIES after he decided not to take part in his Camaro GT3 as he continues to recover after a serious accident last year.

Following his crash, Tulloch allowed co-driver John McIntyre to continue in the Camaro in the SIES, calling in Hawkes Bay's Simon Gilbertson to replace him.
This season, Gilbertson has bought a Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR in which he and McIntyre will contest the three-hour series.

Over in the rally corner, Tauranga's Dave Holder has received a serious boost to his chances of defending his 2016 national title. A change to Greg Murphy's commitment calendar has left him unable to contest the final two rounds of the New Zealand Rally Championship and he has kindly lent his Holden Barina AP4 to Holder.

The two Holdens, the other driven by Christchurch's Josh Marston, have had their share of teething problems, but Holder will be hoping to breathe some life into his. Sitting on 58 points in fifth place, he is 30 points adrift of leader Andrew Hawkeswood and will need two strong performances if he hopes to repeat last season's series victory.

Dunedin motocross superwoman Courtney Duncan made a change to her riding strategy at the last round of the Women's World Motocross Championships in the Czech Republic, and it paid dividends. A more calculated approach saw her regain the series lead with two rounds remaining.

Let's hope she further extends her lead at the Netherlands' sandy Assen TT Circuit this weekend.

Catherine Pattison