Monday | 15 Dec 2014

Paddon inks new deal at Hyundai

Hayden Paddon will tackle at least nine rounds of the WRC next season after confirming a new deal with Hyundai Motorsport today (Monday).

The Kiwi had an offer from Citroen but opted to remain with the Korean squad, with whom he drove six rallies in 2014. He will be partnered by John Kennard for a ninth year.

Paddon’s season in an i20 WRC will start at the second round in Sweden (12 - 15 February), but he will complete the recce at Rallye Monte-Carlo (22 - 25 January).

It is expected he will again be entered by and score points for the Hyundai Motorsport N team.

Paddon said an extended programme would be crucial as he targeted top finishes.

“The first part of 2015 will remain a learning curve as we will be competing on events in which we have little or no experience,” said Paddon, whose 2014 programme did not start until June’s Rally Italia Sardegna.

Hayden Paddon - best result in 2014 was sixth in Australia

“However, once we return to the events that we did this year, I believe we can be very competitive and start pushing to be fighting amongst the top five.

“I learnt a lot and built some really good partnerships within the team this year and it was an obvious choice for us to develop more and chase better results in 2015.”

Team principal Michel Nandan said Paddon, who joins Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo at Hyundai, had proved himself capable of competing alongside the best drivers.

“He had a great first WRC season with us, putting in some eye-catching performances and helping us a lot in the development of our team and car. He gives excellent technical feedback and works very well as part of a close-knit team with the engineers and mechanics.

“His personal development was evident as he reduced the gap to his more experienced colleagues,” he said.

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