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Swedish podium goal for Paddon

Kiwi rally stars Hayden Paddon and John Kennard are going all out for a podium finish at this weekend’s third round of the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the Royal Rally of Scandinavia taking place 14 to 16 June.

The gravel roads of Sweden are among Paddon’s favourite and having finished second here in last year’s ERC round, he’s keen to achieve a similar result in his BRC Racing Hyundai i20 Rally2.

“We’re looking forward to heading back to this Swedish rally based in Karlstad,” says Paddon. “I’d say it’s probably one of our favourite rallies of the ERC calendar. We have good memories here from last year with finishing second and just really, really nice stages.”

Sitting second on the ERC drivers’ championship points-table, 21 points behind current championship leader Frenchman Mathieu Franceschi, the Kiwi star goes into the Royal Rally of Scandinavia looking for maximum points.

“A minimum of a podium finish is what we’re hoping for but there is some very tough competition in this field with both Oliver and Petter Solberg, some fast locals and obviously the regulars in the European championship all in the 23-strong ERC1 field.

“We’re expecting plenty of intense rallying and we’ve been working hard while we were home in New Zealand utilising our Hyundai i20 Rally2 car to develop a few upgrades to be implemented with our European car before this event.”

Being one of only four 2023 ERC rounds repeated on the 2024 calendar, Paddon and Kennard’s prior experience will be beneficial to their gameplan to fight hard over the three day event.

“I’m keen try to repeat what we did last year. I think it’s important that we have to push very hard as we’re in a position in the championship where we have to catch up a little bit. This is a different mindset to what we had 12 months earlier when we were contesting the ERC for the first time. The proof will be in the pudding once we hit the stages next week, and hopefully we can bring home the result we’re seeking.”

The Royal Rally of Scandinavia officially gets underway on Thursday evening with an opening super special stage in Karlstad. Saturday’s schedule comprises eight stages, being four stages repeated morning and afternoon. Another eight stages take place on Sunday, making a total of 17 stages and 191.05 km of competition.

Paddon Racing Group appreciates the support of Hyundai New Zealand, Mitre 10 Trade, Z Energy, Valvoline, Makita, Bars Bugs, Pirelli, OMP/Racer Products, Winmax Brake Pads, South Canterbury Road Safety, TrailLite, Repco NZ, Stedi, Highlands Motorsport Park, MITO, Machinery House, Design Windows, Bartercard, Mike Greer Homes, Provident Insurance, King Gee Clothing and Signbiz.

Keep up with Hayden Paddon’s news via the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/paddonracinggroup.

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