Will Hayden Paddon beat his Hyundai teammates in Kennards Rally Australia?
Rally Australia welcomes us down under with 21 special stages that has both fast and technical sections.
This rally should suit Tänak and the Toyotas well, but it will also be very important for Hayden Paddon. Paddon has a contract for 2018, but has to fight to keep his place.
If you place your money right, you can take home some good winnings in this last WRC round of the year. All though the rally is the last of the season, and the titles are already settled, there is still a lot to both win and loose. The drivers will give everything to the end so focusing on Head to Heads and Pool Betting is our best tip.
And if you would like high odds, then bet against the favourites – it can pay off. (Read when Marcus won big on underdog Meeke in Rally Spain)
Betting opportunities: When it comes to betting opportunities, we offer our usual mix of overall bets, stage bets and Head 2 Heads. But don’t forget our new Pool Betting, with Pick 7 on the overalls, and Pick 3 on stages.
Hyundai has Thierry Neuville as their number one driver, and they have just contracted Andreas Mikkelsen on equal terms. This means that they are one driver too many, and it is Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon that have to fight for the last place. This rally could have a lot to say for Paddon when it comes to what will happen next season.
The Kiwi has improved a lot on technical sections, and last year he was in the lead fight in this rally. Now a lot is on the line, and Hayden needs to prove his speed.
Head 2 Head against favourites, especially on long stages, and especially on the first loop, can be good bets.
We think he will fight for victory on SS3, SS9 and SS18.
Overall Hayden should be in the fight for Top 3, and he is a given on a Pool Bet Top 7 slip.
The Norwegian is ultra fast in Australia, and seems to like the Hyundai. The 2016 winner can be in for a bit more of a struggle, since the Hyundai is not as technically easy to drive as the Volkswagen Polo. It’s slower and harder to rotate around its axis. So on the more technical part, he can be in for a bigger challenge than last year. Mikkelsen can win, and win stages, but big question marks regarding the understeering car.
Neuville struggled to follow Ogier lines last year, because of set up issues. The same can be true this year. Starting position is vital in Australia, and Neuville starts early the first day. So count him out of top stage times on Friday. But he will progress true the event, and a Top 3 final position can be possible.
Sebastien Ogier will start from the front the first day, and will suffer because of that. He fought his way up to second last year, but will struggle more this year. He can be fast on the long stages, but can find it hard to finish in the Top 3 on this event – unless big attrition.
The Estonian will once again be a favourite for the win. The stages suit him and the car. He starts early on Friday, so it can be a bit to much to expect stage wins the first day, but on Saturday and Sunday, it can be different.
Elfyn Evans comes fresh from victory in Wales Rally GB. The Dmack tires are either on or off, and we dont think they will be on in Australia. But if you would like to take your chances, Evans can be a good bet both on overall and on stages and in Head To Head duels.
Kris Meeke is definitely on of the favourites for stage wins on Friday. It looks like Citroën is on a good course when it comes to gravel performance, and the wide and fast stages will suit Meeke.
But he can struggle more on the technical stages, were there will be high grip lines, outlined by low grip gravel. It will be interesting to see how the Citroën will behave in such circumstances.
Stage wins and Head To Head wins on the cards, we are more unsure about the overall position.
Craig Breen is definitely a possible joker in this event. Has good history on fast gravel events, have been the most reliable Citroën driver this year. If you want to bet on high odds winnings, Breen can be your man.
Stephane Levfebre is also definitely a joker. We wouldn’t bet on an overall result, but could come good on some stages. Keep an eye out for him on the Head To Heads.
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC:
The Toyota – and it’s drivers – have grown up on fast gravel roads. If there is enough grip, the Toyotas can shine on this event. Latvala is fast here, but have to be careful over bridges.
Latvala is a potential winner, stage winner and Head To Head winner. Can be the man of the rally.
If the Toyota dials in, this is another driver that could even fight for victory. To follow him on stages when it comes to stage wins and Head To Heads is a given. But can also be worth putting some money on the overall result.