Hayden Paddon shows off his new wheels, announces 2019 campaign
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It was a bit of a double disappointment at the end of last year, when both Brendon Hartley and Hayden Paddon lost their world-class drives in the World Rally Championship and Formula 1 respectively — despite appearing to have done enough to hang around.
But both drivers look set to truck on with other projects in 2019; Paddon revealing part of his overnight.
The Geraldine driver has confirmed that he will compete in the door-banging fist-fight known as Global Rallycross Europe this year. He'll race a 410kW/740Nm i30 Pantera X6 in the series-topping GRC Titans class.
“I have been in Rallying for a long time, so Rallycross is not completely new to me, but I will have to adapt to cars racing alongside me,” said Paddon.
“GRC Europe will be a new challenge and I am looking forward to taking it on, joining the other drivers throughout the year and trying to be competitive.”
He hastened to add over social media that this Global Rallycross Europe drive will only form part of his 2019 campaign.
Paddon won't be the only big name in the series. Drivers like former F1 pilot Alexander Wurz, and rallycross stars Toomas Heikkinen and Tommy Hansen — with more names to be announced ahead of the opening round of the 11-round series in June (held in France).
For Paddon, it will represent a new challenge. He's obviously a dab hand at controlling cars on gravel, but this will be one of the first times the 31-year-old will bang door-to-door with other drivers.
It's a new skill-set, but given how strong and hardy rallycross cars can be there's probably no better place to learn about 'elbows out' aggression in a short space of time.