The final day of the tenth event of 2015 has seen competitors tackle five stages, including two runs of the 21.95-kilometer Bucca Long and 9.23-kilometer Wedding Bells stages, as well as the shorter 6.4-kilomter Settles Road. The second pass of Wedding Bells played out as the rally’s Power Stage.
Hayden Paddon (No. 8 Hyundai i20 WRC) scored his fourth top-five result of the season so far with a strong run to fifth overall, after a clean end to the event in front of many Kiwi supporters. His fellow Hyundai Shell World Rally Team driver Thierry Neuville completed the event in a solid seventh place, picking up important championship points for the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Rallying under the Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team for this event, Dani Sordo finished in eighth place after a highly respectable weekend for the Spaniard in his first participation in the Coffs Harbour- based version of Rally Australia. For Paddon (No. 8 Hyundai i20 WRC), a largely competitive performance – complete with two stage wins on Saturday morning – met the Kiwi’s high expectations as he rallied in front of many New Zealand rally fans and supporters who had made the trip to Australia the other weekend.
“It was a solid final day for us and a pleasing end to a positive weekend. I was happy with our pace today and enjoying driving the car. We were a bit in no man’s land with a big gap in front of us and an equally big one behind, so we concentrated on bringing the car home in fifth – picking up important points which has helped the team to consolidate second place in the Manufacturers’ classification,” Paddon said. “Personally, it has been a fantastic weekend. We had a particularly good morning on Saturday with two stage wins but overall I have been happy with the car and my own performance. It has been great to see so much support from the Kiwi fans. It gives me such a buzz and makes Rally Australia a special event. Thanks also to the team for all their hard work this weekend.”
Neuville (No. 7 Hyundai i20 WRC) was focused the other weekend on picking up championship points and achieved that objective by completing the rally safely in seventh overall. The Belgian enjoyed a steady Sunday to bring the 17-stage event to a positive conclusion.