After his impressive showing in last weekend's Classic Rally of Otago in a Ford Escort RS800, Hayden Paddon will do battle with leading runners from the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for the first time when he contests Rally San Marino next month.

New Zealander Paddon is the reigning Production Car world champion but has yet to contest a round of the IRC during his impressive career. He will make his IRC debut on the gravel event, which is also new to the series for 2012.

The 25-year-old Paddon will switch from the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 he uses on world championship rallies to an HRT Motorsport-run Peugeot 207 S2000. Rally San Marino takes place from 6/7 July.


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