Paddon: Neuville remains the benchmark
Kiwi keeps Hyundai team leader in his sights
Paddon drives for Hyundai's second-tier Motorsport N squad and has used an older specification car all season compared to the ones driven by Neuville and Sordo.
Most recently in Poland, Neuville and Sordo benefited from an engine camshaft upgrade, while Paddon's car had the prevous unit that was introduced at Rally Guanajuato Mexico in March.
But from ADAC Rallye Deutschland [20-23 August] onwards Paddon, the fastest Hyundai driver for the last two rallies, will compete on level terms.
"We try to update Hayden's car two rallies after the others, so from Germany onwards he will have the same engine we introduced in Poland," said team principal Michel Nandan.
"The camshaft modification improves the range of useable torque, and while that wasn't too relevant in Poland, and won't be in Finland, it will be much more effective on twisty events like Germany where you have more corners and braking."
No further engine modifications are planned between now and the introduction of Hyundai's all-new model in 2016, so Paddon should be in identical machinery for the last five rounds, including Coates Hire Rally Australia - the closest he gets to a home event.
Nandan refused to rule out a guest spot for Paddon in the main squad later in the season, but felt the car upgrades made the move less important.
"Hayden has already made the team once this year, when he replaced the injured Dani in Sweden, so it could be possible - we'll see," he said. "But the three cars will be the same quite soon, so it doesn't really matter in terms of him having the same chances."