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Paddon's new car ready for Rally of Italy

NZN 6/06/2016

New Zealand's Hayden Paddon wants to repay his mechanics for getting a brand new car on the start line for the World Rally Championship event in Sardinia.

Paddon's crew started from scratch in building a new Hyundai i20 for the Rally of Italy starting on Friday after their previous car was destroyed in a fiery crash in the fifth round leg in Portugal two weeks ago.

It dropped Paddon one spot to fourth in the standings following their historic win at the Rally Argentina in April.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard can scarcely believe the build took only a week, with parts sourced from around the world added to a spare bare chassis.

"I was able to get to the workshop a couple of times, and as much as I would have liked to be helping, it's best to leave it to the experts," Paddon said.

"But hat's off to them all for a job well done."

The speed of the build gave Paddon time to test the car on Sardinia's mountainous, rocky roads, where he emerged happy with its performance.

The heat and narrow roads traditionally make the rally a battle of attrition.

Paddon says he and Kennard learned plenty from last year's race, when they emerged runners-up for their first WRC podium finish.

He says the heat is just as much of a threat as the narrow, rutted roads.

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