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  • Writer's pictureSaku Kusa


New Zealand star Hayden Paddon is rebuilding one of the world’s most famous Mitsubishi Lancers – the Evo IX which helped launch the Kiwi’s WRC career.

Like the rest of the world, Paddon has time on his hands right now. Unlike the rest of the world, he lives at the Highlands Motorsport Park where his Paddon Rallysport team is based and work on the Lancer is already underway.

He drove the car he labels ‘the Green Machine’ in the season he landed a slot on the 2010 Pirelli Star Driver scheme. He and fellow 2010 graduate Ott Tänak both progressed to world rallying’s top level, with Paddon winning Rally Argentina in 2016.

“We built it as a brand new car with our own team in 2008,” he said. “We built it as a full Group N car. We then won the 2008 and 2009 New Zealand Championships in it, but winning the Pirelli Star Driver nomination on the 2009 Rally Australia was the big moment.

“That was a million-dollar (NZ dollar) prize for six rounds of the World Rally Championship in PWRC. As well as the Pirelli drives in an Evo X, we used the Green Machine on Rally New Zealand, where I took my first PWRC win, and Rally Japan where we finished second.”

The car was damaged in a testing crash, but was rebuilt in 2013. After another New Zealand Championship success that season, it was mothballed while Paddon progressed in his career with Hyundai Motorsport.

Now, with time available and the car next door, Paddon’s relishing rebuilding the car that helped him climb to the top of the rally world.

“The car is in good condition,” he said, “it’s just a matter of doing a pre-season rebuild to make it like new. I’m going to touch-up all the paint, polish all the bolts and generally rebuild it. The car will be driveable, but I won’t use in competition again.

“It’s a car that means a lot to us and we’ll want to keep it in this condition.”

Picture by Peter Whitten ผลบอลสดแม่นยำ

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