You wouldn’t catch an F1 driver doing this…

Put a Mk2 Ford Escort in the hands of Hayden Paddon, and it's a rally-winning vehicle. It's also spectacular to watch...

The other day I got an email from my friend Adam Davis, who lives on the other side of the world, asking if I’d seen this excellent on-board video. I hadn’t but now I have and I thought everyone else should see it too. It is of Hayden Paddon driving a historic mk2 Escort with a BDA. It reminded me of several things…

First, New Zealand has arguably the most picturesque gravel rally stages in the world. This was from the Otago Rally based around Dunedin on South Island and it is just spectacular, with fast, flowing stages that have incredible views over beautiful rolling landscape. It could almost have been designed to go in a computer game.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Second, Hayden Paddon is an exceptional driver. You might think this is stating the obvious because he has just signed a three-year WRC deal with Hyundai, but consider this: Paddon won this rally in a ‘70s Mk2 Escort. Not just the historic rally section (in which he saw off, amongst others, Alister McRae), but the overall rally. To do this he beat modern Imprezas and Evos and it was the first time a two-wheel drive car had taken the overall victory since 1987.

Third, this isn’t the first time we have seen current WRC drivers in Historic cars. Jari-Matti Latvala regularly takes part in the Lahti historic rally, as does Mikko Hirvonen. Latvala used to use his own Escort (he’s been in a Quattro for the last two years, more in line with his VW contract) and there is a fantastic video of him showing some supreme commitment, which you can see at the bottom of this page.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Fourth, you wouldn’t catch a current F1 driver competing in an historic ‘70s F1 car.

Fifth, Paddon is soooo smooth with his steering inputs in the Escort.

Sixth, I must get my own mk2 Escort out on some more rallies next year.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/ford/ford-escort-rs-cosworth/18710/ford-escort-rs-cosworth-buying-guide
Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Ford Escort RS Cosworth buying guide

9 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020
Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020