Hayden Paddon: Rally Spain Pre-Event
Everything is going well here in our preparations for this weekends Rally Spain. After arriving on Sunday, we had a couple of days to take in the sun of Salou and put the feet up. The last two days have been full on days of recce, although a little easier for this event as we have about 75% of the notes from last year – which is always a good help.
The roads are looking great. The dust issues that they had last year on the gravel stages shouldn’t be a problem this year, with recent rain and more rain forecasted for Friday dampening the roads. The gravel sections are generally hard based and flowing, although there are some rougher sections, which will get rough. The tarmac stages on Saturday and Sunday are some of the best tarmac stages in the world – very smooth, fast, wide ‘circuit like’ roads that are a dream to drive on.
The team are all ready for the event and our Skoda is looking great with the Red Bull livery on the sides. It is also great that our supporters group arrived today and was good having dinner with them tonight. We have a lucky prize winner from the group who will be co-driving me on one of our runs at shakedown tomorrow morning – which I’m sure they are looking forward to!
After shakedown tomorrow morning – which will give us a chance to confirm our gravel set-up, we go to Barcelona for the ceremonial start in the middle of the city. Then it is final preparation for the stages, which start Friday morning.