Sunday | 17 Jan 2016

Paddon earns Hyundai Sweden nod

Hayden Paddon has been named in Hyundai Motorsport's lead squad for next month's Rally Sweden (11 - 14 February) in preference to Dani Sordo.

The Kiwi finished fifth last year in only his second appearance at the WRC's only pure winter fixture, and the second round of the season will mark his debut in Hyundai's 2016-specification i20 World Rally Car.

Sordo will partner Thierry Neuville in next week's season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo but is not a Sweden expert. His best result there was fourth in 2010 and he will step down to the second team for this year's encounter.

There are 17 World Rally Cars in the 58-strong entry, including three DS 3s from the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team for Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Khalid Al Qassimi.

Robert Kubica has also entered while there will be World Rally Car debuts for Saudi Arabia's Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Ukraine's Valeriy Gorban, who is expected to tackle 10 rounds in a Mini John Cooper Works WRC.

Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand head a strong 19-car field in WRC 2 which is dominated by R5 Ford Fiestas and Skoda Fabias. Other likely frontrunners include Elfyn Evans and Eyvind Brynildsen, while Ole Christian Veiby will make his category debut.

World Rallycross star Johan Kristoffersen will make his WRC debut in a Fabia S2000. The Swede, who finished third in the RX series last year, has only one previous rally start to his name having finished fifth in the Numedalsrally in Norway last year.

Also listed is 19-year-old Oscar Solberg in a Subaru Impreza WRX. He is the son of Henning, who is entered in a Fiesta RS WRC, and nephew of 2003 WRC champion Petter.

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