World Rally Championship 2

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard moved in to the lead of the FIA ERC standings

Superb fight back after early problems at Rally Estonia (5-7 July) – the fourth round of the season

Superb fight back after early problems at Rally Estonia (5-7 July) – the fourth round of the season

From the very start of Rally Estonia, changing weather conditions added another challenge for the Kiwis and the other crews contesting the event. Despite running in the worst of the rain during Friday’s qualifying stage, Paddon and Kennard started the weekend with the fastest time on the Super Special stage, but found more trouble at the start of Saturday’s action. A nose-heavy landing after a jump damaged the front end of their i20 N Rally2 car, losing them time to the leader as they dropped out of the top ten overall.

However, the BRC Racing Team mechanics were able to repair the car at the first service of the day, and Paddon and Kennard were able to start a comeback which saw them recover back to seventh before the end of the day. Rewarded with an improved road position for the final four stages on Sunday, the pair made up two more positions – including one after a Power Stage delayed by fallen trees and torrential rain – to take fifth place -and a crucial 17 points to move into the championship lead for the first time this season.

Their next challenge takes them to Italy and the Rally di Roma Capitale later this month (26-28 July).

Home heroes Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja, driving a Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid, were a major draw for fans in the pre-event festivities as they entered the national rally to gain extra mileage ahead of their next WRC outing. However, the duo crashed out of the rally on Saturday morning. Both Ott and Martin were taken to hospital for precautionary medical checks, but suffered no major injuries.


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