Paddon hints at possible Australian rallies in 2019
Hayden Paddon will contest three rounds of this year’s New Zealand Rally Championship, as well as one or two events in Australia.
The former Hyundai WRC driver and event winner announced his program this morning, and while his aim is still to return to the World Rally Championship, he’ll have a busy year with up to 16 events in 2019.
“We have put together an exciting program this year in conjunction with Hyundai NZ and our new Paddon Rallysport team,” Paddon said.
“Our new base in Cromwell is coming along nicely and we now have people on site working on current and future projects. We have some very exciting stuff on the horizon.”
He added that, event wise, his 2019 will look like this:
* 6-round GRC Rallycross European program in a 550bhp Pantera Rallycross car modelled on a Hyundai i30.
* 3 rounds of the NZ Rally championship – Rally Otago, Whangarei and Timaru. However, he will not be entered in the NZRC championship, and instead has entered the FIA Asia Pacific Championship with a vision towards winning the Pacific Cup, and evaluate the final ‘winner takes all’ round in China during the year.
* The team will then convert the car more permanently to an 800bhp hillclimb monster. This will then include Ashley Forest Rallysprint, and possibly another two appropriate events for this car in NZ.
* Paddon is currently finalising details to try and do 1-2 events in Australia
“It is looking likely we will do the famous Rally Legend in Italy during October. And if all comes to fruition, it will be a very exciting car we will be driving there,” he added.
“John (Kennard) will be back in the co-driver’s seat with us for Rally Otago, and after that we will have some young NZ co-drivers in the car on other rounds. More details of this will be shared later.
“It’s going to be a huge year, with up to 16 events, the building/development of Paddon Rallysport. along with many other commitments. I am very excited and look forward to sharing it all with you.”
His first event, the Otago Rally, will take place in Dunedin from April 13 to 14, where he will drive his Hyundai i20 AP4.