Wednesday | 02 Sep 2015

Paddon closes on WRC future

Hayden Paddon is close to securing a new deal for 2016 that will keep him in the WRC after his existing contract with Hyundai expires.

In December last year the Kiwi secured a nine-event WRC campaign with Hyundai for 2015, although this was later extended to include all rounds bar the season opener in Monte-Carlo.

Now, having marked himself out as one of the championship's most promising new talents, Paddon is looking to agree terms for 2016 - most likely with his existing squad.

"We're just focusing on where we are at the moment," Paddon told
"Nothing's signed and sealed yet but it's getting close. Things are looking positive - let's just say that."

Paddon expects to make an announcement after the upcoming Coates Hire Rally Australia [10 - 13 September], where he will partner Thierry Neuville in Hyundai's lead team. And after impressing on other gravel rounds in Sardinia and Poland, Hayden's supporters are hoping for another Paddon podium on his adopted home round.

"That's what we're aiming for, for sure, but we've got to be realistic at the same time," said Paddon. "The competition is already pretty tough with the Volkswagens, but then you have to throw in the likes of Kris Meeke and Ott Tänak who, like me, will have good road positions.

"For sure we're going to be pushing pretty hard. We want to take our performance to the next step and start to take a few more risks. After the last few events I'm feeling confident on gravel and if it stays dry we'll hope to make the most of our road position."

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