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

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

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/subaru/wrx-sti/22129/subaru-motorsports-revives-iconic-blue-and-gold-livery
Subaru WRX STi saloon

Subaru Motorsports revives iconic blue and gold livery

11 Jan 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/22743/first-details-of-the-gordon-murray-automotive-t50-hypercar-revealed
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 hypercar revealed

A true successor to the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed more about its spectacular T.50 hypercar
10 Dec 2019
Visit/evo-car-of-the-year/202042/ecoty-2019-evo-car-of-the-year-preview
evo Car of the Year

eCoty 2019: evo Car of the Year preview

Our annual evo Car of the Year test is coming, in print and online
11 Dec 2019
Visit/mclaren/201626/2020-mclaren-elva-further-details-of-next-ultimate-series-supercar
McLaren

2020 McLaren Elva

No roof? No worries… The McLaren Elva will be the ultimate sun-seeking supercar
12 Dec 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019