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Fans provide Paddon spur

Hayden Paddon hopes his travelling fans will inspire him to put a troubled WRC campaign behind him and end the season with a strong drive in Australia next week.

The Kiwi has just one podium, when finishing second in Poland, but will have big support at Kennards Hire Rally Australia (16 – 19 November) as plenty of fans cross the Tasman Sea from New Zealand.

“It is always nice to be heading back to our side of the world. It isn’t quite a home event but it is as close as we can get,” said the Hyundai i20 driver.

“The support we receive from the fans is unreal and we want to give them a good show – and something to shout about.”

After being benched last month in Spain to make way for new signing Andreas Mikkelsen in the Hyundai Motorsport line-up, Paddon returned to action a fortnight ago in Britain.

“Finishing the rally in Wales in the top eight wasn’t necessarily the result we wanted, but it gave us good mileage in the car, which we hope will translate positively to Australia,” said Paddon, who lies 10th in the championship.

Paddon has finished in the top six in Australia for the last three years and has no worries about managing the revised route for the Coffs Harbour-based season finale.

“We are not competing on the public roads as much as previous seasons, with a lot more stages in the forest. That will make the event slightly different but we are confident in our abilities,” he added.

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