Video: Kiwi rally driver Haydon Paddon reports from Spain, where he has been testing his new rally car
" We have just got back to Faro after our two day test in Spain. Our first test with our new team and car was hugely successful and I am feeling very confident heading into rally Portugal.
"Despite only having done limited miles in a Subaru before, I adjusted very quickly to the new car which had a great start set-up. After 10km, I felt confident enough to start dialling the car in which we were not initially planning to do until the afternoon. Our Subaru has a good strong engine which is equally as powerful as our previous cars, while the handling and balance of the car is far more superior. This is hugely noticeable by the extra corner speed that you can carry.
"Over the two days we almost gained 1.5 second per km in changes we made to dampers, springs, differentials and diff mapping. The car responded to the changes well and we now have a good base set-up to tackle Portugal with. We can still gain more out of the car which we will continue to work on at our upcoming Monday PWRC test in Portugal and also throughout the season.
"After now driving the Subaru in anger I firmly believe we have made a very good decision this year to change brands which will give us a better chance to fight for the title. Of course testing and the actual rally are two different kettle of fish, but I am feeling good going into next weeks rally.
"Some other exciting news that you may of heard of recently is that we have confirmed our entry in limited rounds of the New Zealand Rally Championship. We are working with Robbie Leicester, a rally driver himself, who is supplying a Possum Bourne motorsport built Subaru Impreza for us to drive. At this stage the program will include the opening round, Rally Otago and my favourite event, Rally Whangarei. We may look at further rounds if more funding becomes available but the extra miles will help me accustom to the Subaru quicker and also help us to develop the car (which will be identically set up to our PWRC car)."