Seat time focus for Paddon’s TCR Hyundai
Hayden Paddon is not resting on his laurels as he aims to propel himself back onto the World Rally Championship stage.
Paddon, who won the Otago Rally last weekend, has a Hyundai TCR (Touring Car Racing) car on the way to New Zealand.
Although unsure of what its official use will be, he is looking forward to its arrival.
“We committed to getting that (the car) before any TCR Series in New Zealand was announced, so really just for testing at the moment,” Paddon said
“We’ve got a race track on our back doorstep there at Highlands, and they are just phenomenal facilities.
“The way we looked at it when we originally looked at a race car is that it’s a bit like rugby and cricket – you can go and practice any day of the week, and obviously in our sport, we can’t do that.
“But, now all of a sudden we’ve got these facilities where our garages and our workshop are on the pit straight.
“We can use that track any day of the week, so we’re thinking, well, whatever we’re doing, whether it’s WRC, rallycross, or whatever, the more mileage that I’d be getting, the better.”
Paddon will dip his toes into rallycross for the first time in 2019 when he competes in six rounds of Europe’s Global Rallycross series.
He will stay loyal to the Hyundai brand, and will drive a Hyundai i30 Pantera X6.
His TCR car, however, will have him focussing on tarmac.
We are excited to announce Paddon Rallysport have a Hyundai TCR car on its way! Due to land in NZ next month we will be using the car here at Highlands for testing and to develop my driving for our international commitments, before looking at the new NZ TCR series in 2020 pic.twitter.com/wxHBgwWnB0
— Hayden Paddon (@HaydenPaddon) April 5, 2019
“When we toyed with the idea of having a race car it was about being able to get out and practice and get as much seat time as I can,” he added.
“It’s all relevant to any driving we’re doing nowadays, the inputs on brake, throttle and steering.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s on tarmac or gravel. Rally is nowadays very, very refined.”
His goals for Otago simply didn’t surround winning the event, it was about stage records to prove to those watching that he is still improving.
“I’m not going to, say, sit in the corner, and I don’t want to get slower. I want to get faster,” he commented.
“So I’ve just got to keep pushing forward (getting faster) and the TCR will help me do that.”