Thu 03 Mar 2022

Kiwi Paddon outlines WRC2 programme

New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon has outlined a two-year WRC2 programme, returning to action in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 alongside familiar co-driver John Kennard.

The 2016 Rally Argentina winner made the announcement on Thursday, confirming European stops at Rally Estonia (14-17 July) and Rally Finland (4-7 August) before returning home for Rally Zealand (29 September – 02 October). Paddon also revealed plans for a complete WRC2 campaign in 2023.

“We are delighted to work with Hyundai New Zealand as we embark on a two-year WRC2 campaign with the new Hyundai i20N Rally2 car,” expressed Paddon. “This year we have planned a campaign which allows us to get up to speed with the awesome i20N Rally2 car, the car’s development and team development, before undertaking a full seven-round campaign in 2023 with the sole goal of winning that championship title.”

Rally Estonia will mark the first time the 34-year-old has competed in a WRC event since Wales Rally GB 2019.

"We have been trying so hard over the past two years to get back to the WRC. It’s been tough with everything going on in the world. So together with Hyundai New Zealand we decided to take matters into our own hands, and launch a Kiwi team to take on the WRC2.

"I am really excited about doing this campaign with our own team. Of course it’s going to be challenging but we have a clear target for this two-year programme and we will be putting our best foot forward to try and achieve that."

Paddon is guaranteed to be a fan favourite when the WRC returns to New Zealand shores for the first time since 2012. “I can’t wait to compete on the awesome roads of Rally New Zealand again and show what the Rally2 car is capable of."

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