Hyundai WRC outcast Paddon firms up 2019 "fightback" plans

Hayden Paddon has confirmed a programme of 2019 events designed at keeping him in line for a World Rally Championship return as soon as possible.

Hyundai WRC outcast Paddon firms up 2019 "fightback" plans

The Kiwi missed out on a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC seat this season after Sebastien Loeb signed to drive for the Korean squad, but he’s working harder than ever to be back at rallying’s top level.

“Losing the seat was one of the hardest moments of my career,” said Paddon, “and, there’s no doubt when I came home to New Zealand after Rally Australia, I was a bit disgruntled with the whole thing. But I can’t tell you how much I want to be back in that car now.

“The fightback started the day after [Rally] Australia and I simply won’t give up on getting back to the WRC – that’s where I want to be and I know I can still do the business there.”

Driving a Hyundai i20 AP4+ developed and built by his own Hyundai NZ team, Paddon will contest three rounds of his home series, starting with next month’s Otago Rally.

He will return to Europe for Global Rallycross, racing a Hyundai i30 in the Titans category, in June.

His i20 rally car will be converted to an 800bhp hillclimb specification for the Ashley Forest Rallysprint in September. Paddon is also eyeing a potential RallyLegend outing in San Marino in the autumn.

Paddon has signed an extension to his current contract with Hyundai NZ and the firm remains firmly behind the former Rally Argentina winner.

Hyundai New Zealand general manager Andy Sinclair said: “Hayden is an exceptional individual with business nous and sporting prowess. He is talented and driven and has a long future in motorsport ahead of him.

“Our commitment to Hayden and his team is unquestionable and we are thoroughly excited about the busy year ahead and our collective aspirations.

Despite a limited programme last season, Paddon enjoyed one of his strongest years, taking a top-five result on all but one of the WRC rounds he finished – and beating his Hyundai teammates on three of the four events he competed on with the factory team in the second half of 2018.

Despite starting six fewer rallies than teammate Andreas Mikkelsen, Paddon finished only 11 points adrift of the Norwegian in the standings.

“With the development work we’ve got going on at home, I’m driving a rally car two or three days a week now,” said Paddon. “I’m working harder on the fitness side than ever and I’m ready to hop on a plane tomorrow.

“I’ve got to be honest, I never thought I’d miss driving in the World Rally Championship as much as I do.”

Hayden Paddon, Sebastian Marshall, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

Hayden Paddon, Sebastian Marshall, Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

Photo by: Austral

shares
comments
Rally Mexico admits 2019 event was "below par"
Previous article

Rally Mexico admits 2019 event was "below par"

Next article

FIA vows to act on artificial WRC jumps after Mexico

FIA vows to act on artificial WRC jumps after Mexico
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021