Paddon has targeted winning the SWRC title this year to go with the Production world crown he clinched in 2011. On his first appearance of the campaign in Sweden last month, and his first outing on snow, Paddon had to settle for fourth in class. As a result he trails category leader Craig Breen by 31 points in the championship standings.
“Looking at the event itself, we need to win the SWRC category at minimum,” said the 24-year-old. “There are five SWRC drivers in Portugal including category leader Craig Breen, who we expect to be fast. This year is not only about winning the championship; it’s also about showcasing our speed - which we did not do in Sweden.”
Paddon hopes an uprated engine in his ASM Motorsport Skoda Fabia Super 2000, plus a two-day test in Spain, will boost his chances in Portugal.
“It’s great to have the upgraded engine for Portugal,” said Paddon. “Combined with the developments we will make during testing, we hope to have a very fast car. We tried many different parts on the car to find the right combination for a solid base set-up for gravel.”