Customer clinch early ERC title win
BRC Racing Team-run pair Hayden Paddon and John Kennard became our first Customer Racing crew to win the European Rally Championship crown, clinching the title* after the penultimate round at Barum Czech Rally Zlin.
“The FIA European Rally Championship is one of the most competitive series for our i20 N Rally2 customers,” said Andrea, our Customer Racing Manager. It is a very important achievement for BRC Racing Team, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and, of course, the crew.”
Hayden and John’s title was a product of a perfect combination of speed, reliability of our i20 N Rally2 and consistency, as they scored podium finishes in six of the seven events they contested on their way to the championship. Such was their title season, they claimed glory without having to contest the last event at Rally Hungary.
The best of their podiums came at the opening round of the season at Rally Serras de Fafe. The Kiwis had the pace to sit amongst the front runners from the start of the event, and were able to maintain that speed while others faltered – the strength of our i20 N Rally2 providing the ideal companion to their performance.
The win gave the crew an early championship lead. Four consecutive ensuing second places, spanning the tarmac of Rally Islas Canarias and the gravel events of Rally Poland, Rally Liepāja and the Royal Rally of Scandinavia, further strengthened their margin at the top of the points.
July’s Rally di Roma Capitale was a significant step towards the title, with the crew finishing once again on the podium in third. The lead in the championship grew with their nearest rivals for the title failing to finish the event, giving them a clear advantage for the title win with a round to spare in Zlin.
Hayden and John did exactly that – albeit in an unconventional manner. The crew faced their only retirement of the season, however, their competitors suffered the same fate. Sat 50 points ahead with only 30 to be won at Rally Hungary, the crew knew they could celebrate.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the European Rally Championship this year,” said Hayden. “Each round was unique but also challenging with the level of local and ERC regular crews competing. The i20 N Rally2 ran faultlessly all season.”
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA.