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World champion rally driver Hayden Paddon is taking on a new role as an ambassador for world-class destination Auckland, the largest and most visited city in his home country of New Zealand.
Paddon, the 2011 production car world rally champion, is in Auckland this week ready to compete in Brother Rally New Zealand. With the world’s sports media ready to catch the action in the 21 to 24 June running of the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Auckland is also set to be showcased to tens of millions of rally fans around the globe.
This year Paddon, 25, and co-driver John Kennard are competing in the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship using a Skoda Fabia S2000 rally car. Their 2012 campaign has seen the likeable Kiwis compete in Sweden and Portugal prior to starting in this week’s Auckland-based three-day rally. After New Zealand, they contest three further World Rally Championship events in Great Britain, France and Spain.
For Paddon, the new role to help highlight Auckland as a key tourism and event destination is an honour.
“This doesn’t mean I’m giving up my Geraldine roots. I am delighted that our New Zealand World Rally Team has this opportunity to work with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), which plays has a key role in developing  Auckland and New Zealand’s international profile,” says Paddon.
“I’m proud to represent New Zealand wherever I compete around the world and now I have the opportunity to highlight Auckland, which is an exciting and beautiful city, and New Zealand’s most popular destination for both domestic and international visitors.”
Initially, Paddon’s ambassadorial role for Auckland runs for the remainder of this season taking in three high profile European rallies. With Paddon’s Skoda rally car being run by Spanish team ASM Motorsport, the talented Kiwi’s profile is particularly strong in that part of Europe.
ATEED manager major events, Jennah Wootten says: “Hayden’s remarkable success on the world rally stage provides a unique marketing opportunity for Auckland.
“We’re all about supporting everything that’s great about New Zealand. We’re not just along for the ride. We understand Hayden will be spending more time in Auckland, and who better to tell our story than a world champion,” says Ms Wootten.

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