Ace Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon is looking forward to the security of a new three-year World Rally Championship contract with Hyundai Motorsport.
“I think it was one of the worst-kept secrets that we were continuing with the WRC team, but to get a multi-year deal is what we have been working hard for over the past two seasons,” Paddon said.
The 28-year-old said he can now focus more on preparation, driving faster, and winning. “While this is a big step towards the ultimate goal – it is far from my expectations. We will not rest until we are winning – and not just me, the whole team.”
Hyundai Motorsport today announced Paddon’s contract through to 2019. Team chief Michel Nandan said Paddon was consistent, quick and determined.
“From the start of our WRC programme, we have wanted to support fresh, young talent and Hayden has shown just how successful this can be,” he said. “I am personally looking forward to seeing what he can deliver over the next three years.”
Paddon initially joined Hyundai Motorsport for a six-rally campaign in 2014 and has been running an expanded programme of 12 WRC events this season. He will step up to a full-time role from January’s Rally Monte-Carlo alongside his co-driver John Kennard.
“The past two seasons have been an amazing journey,” Paddon said. “The team has helped me to develop and based on the rate that we have progressed together I have no doubt we will be winning soon.”
Paddon is preparing for this weekend’s Rally of Spain, where he scored his first stage win last year. “With the gravel stages on Friday followed by two days on the tarmac, we will be targeting for a big push on the gravel to give us a better chance once we get to the tarmac,” he said.