Hayden Paddon aids push for New Zealand's World Rally Championship return
The last Rally New Zealand took place in 2012; an eternity in the grand scheme of motorsport.
Since then, its vacancy has been lamented by profiles from every facet of the sport. Our roads are hallowed as some of the best in the world — something not lost on Hayden Paddon, as the man from Geraldine returns for a few stabs at events in the New Zealand Rally Championship with Hyundai New Zealand's new AP4 i20.
Paddon isn't just one of the main slices of up-and-coming international rallying talent in the WRC championship, he's also the official Rally New Zealand ambassador.
Being the ambassador means a lot more than just timidly flying our flag when he can. While touring the world, Paddon is forever knocking doors and trying to spread the word and create the conversation among drivers, teams, and those further up the food chain that not only does New Zealand want a World Rally event back, but they have the ability to sustain it.
Paddon's latest move has been this neat video from the recent Rally of Otago, where himself, former Bathurst champion come rallying grasshopper Greg Murphy, Mitsubishi pilot David Holder, young Dylan Thompson, and regular co-driver Fleur Pedersen all talk about New Zealand rallying and what the return of the WRC would mean.
Almost as incredible as our roads is the scenery that supports the clip, as wonderful drone footage captures Otago's luscious landscapes while Paddon and the rest of the NZRC faithful hoon through the ribbons of gravel that bisect the relief.
The road to the WRC's return has been an arduous one so far, but hopefully the surge led by Paddon and his supporters can create results.