It has been a tough day for us today at the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally. However, limping to the finish in 4th place did enable us to take the lead of the championship going into the final round in Wairarapa.
It started badly for us on the first stage, which set the tone for the rest of the day after I attacked a jump too much. The landing was very heavy and on the up-slope of the next crest. The impact smashed the rear sump frame, diff, bent most rear suspension arms and damaged the gearbox. The next 2 stages we then had to do in 2WD.
The team then did an amazing job patching the car back up at service which had severely damaged the floor and subframe. This meant that mounting new suspension arms was impossible, and the rear diff could not be mounted correctly.
2 stages later the rear diff broke free of its mounting. It was then held in with strops and cable ties. At the final service all rear drive shafts were removed to take loading off the rear diff. To compound this at the same time I was having to drive one-handed a lot of the time to hold it in gear. We also spent more time in 2WD than 4WD today so it was an interesting day to say the least.
I can’t thank our team enough who did an amazing job keeping the car going. How the car made it to the finish with the rear end still in is lucky, and salvaging some championship points from what could have been none is all thanks to the team.
Now its time for Rally Australia though and there is no rest. The team have already flown to Australia tonight to begin preparations on the Skoda before we test on Monday. Meantime some other team members have remained behind as tonight we pull the Evo apart so we can utilise some of the parts off it for the Skoda. Then it’s a 5am flight to Australia tomorrow for us to meet the rest of the team.
Again a huge thanks to our team, Dad, Katie, John, Math, Neil, Coxy, AD and Piran. Also we couldn’t have done this event without the help of Mike and Sue from Reaction Racing who not only get our car going great, but have also looked after us all so much. Of course thank you for all your support to.
Really looking forward to getting back in the Skoda for our big event next week in Australia. We are feeling positive ahead of the event and the target is to win WRC2. We will keep you posted.
Hayden Paddon [firstname.lastname@example.org]