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Hayden Paddon’s WRC co-driver and long time confidant, John Kennard, has brought forward his intention to retire from active participation in the WRC after July’s Neste Rally Finland, and will stop competing now.

Kennard had pulled out of the recent Rally Portugal at short notice because of a recurring hip problem, his place taken by Sebastian Marshall, who will continue with Hayden on a permanent basis.

Kennard says: “Unfortunately my hip’s condition still won’t allow me to take on the rough gravel of Sardinia and while I’d dearly love to get back in the car to finish my WRC career with Hayden in Poland and Finland, it really wouldn’t make any sense.

“We’ve had a terrible start to the year, so it’s most important to grab some positivity and move forward in the last half of the season.”

58 year old Kennard has been the most senior member of the WRC competing community, winning Rally Argentina at the age of 57 last year, surpassing co-driver Arne Hertz’s achievement of winning the 1991 Catalunya Rally at the age of 52.

- Martin Holmes

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