Paddon signs three-year deal with Hyundai, now on the hunt for WRC glory
Kiwi rallying ace Hayden Paddon has signed a three-year deal to compete for Hyundai Motorsport in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
“It’s amazing confirm to three years with Hyundai. [It’s been an] accumulation of a lot of years of hard work to get this opportunity, and it’s now coming together. We’re not quite there yet, but this is a massive step towards what we ultimately want to achieve in this sport,” said Paddon earlier today.
Paddon’s 2015 season has been largely positive, with the New Zealander scoring a number of breakthrough results, including a second-place finish at Rally Italy in June. While Paddon is currently poised in eighth position in the 2015 WRC points standings, his focus will now shift to his and the team’s goals for success over the next three years.
Paddon attacks the tarmac of the 2015 Tour de Corse. Photo: Vettas Media
“A contract like this takes a lot of pressure off, in terms of performing to keep a job. It means that we can put a lot more focus and attention on getting the most out of ourselves, the car, working with the team and performing," said Paddon.
“Ultimately over the next three years we want to be winning. That’s not just my goal — that’s the whole team’s goal. We have a plan in place, step by step, and ultimately want to be world champions, and now we have the best chance possible of doing that — with what I feel is the best team."
The Kiwi and his Hyundai Motorsport team will now prepare for this weekend’s Catalunya Rally in Spain, where Paddon will be placing emphasis on learning and building up to next season.
“Going into Rally Spain this week this is obviously a nice confidence booster. The targets and the goals are still the same though, so we need to go in with the mindset that we need to learn, particularly for the tarmac section. We’ve got the gravel on the first day where we want to try and excel and try and put ourselves in a good position, but ultimately the rest of this year is really about a warm-up and getting everything ready for a good attack on the championship next year.
“[There’s] still a long way to go this year, but obviously really looking forward to the future and there’s some exciting times ahead.”