Every cloud has a silver lining, they say, and I can’t help thinking the sad news that Volkswagen is pulling out of the World Rally Championship at the end of this year might well convert to good news for our own WRC contender, Hayden Paddon, and his Hyundai team.
It’s a great pity VW is withdrawing from the sport, but it’s a move that was expected on the back of the financial implications of the emissions scandal. But although VW has been the dominant force this year, Hyundai has been snapping at its heels, and indeed, Hayden brought home NZ’s first WRC overall victory (as well as a few podiums) so there’s definitely the pace and the ability there.
The Hyundai team gets better with each rally, and has definitely proved this year it’s the one to watch.
Fortunately for the sport Toyota is stepping back into WRC from 2017, effectively replacing Volkswagen, so the entry lists won’t be any shorter, but I fully expect they’ll be on a learning curve that will keep them behind the Hyundais, and our man Hayden!
That said, it’s been a great old year for us at Motor Equipment News, and we’re continuing apace as we move towards a new year.
I know the whole team is looking forward to a good break and a bit of a rest, and at the same time I know they will join me in wishing all our readers and our advertisers a really great Christmas break and a happy new year.
Oh, and if you fancy spending time in the bright lights, make sure you get a sober driver, bus, or taxi to get you home if you’ve had a drink or two – otherwise those bright lights may well turn into blue ones, and we don’t want that, do we?