Hayden Paddon shows off his new Hyundai i30 N touring-car toy
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Two months after he confirmed he was getting one, former World Rally Championship ace Hayden Paddon has shown off his Hyundai i30 N TCR tin-top for the first time.
The little pocket rocket has been stickered up in a similar Armacup and Cure Kids livery to the Hyundai i20 AP4+ that Paddon competes in the New Zealand Rally Championship with.
Not that the diminutive i20 hasn't had much love, lately. The Paddon Rallysport team have increased the car's restrictor size for the upcoming South Canterbury Rally on June 22 — taking the opportunity to go above and beyond the rule-book since the team won't be competing for any championship class while they're there.
As for the new i30 N TCR car, it's set for a little national tour of its own.
From the team's base in Cromwell at Highlands Motorsport Park the i30 N will travel to Fieldays at Mystery Creek in Hamilton (June 11-15) to be part of Hyundai New Zealand's stand, before trekking down to Hyundai South Cantebury for a public dealership event on June 19 where southern fans can see it in the flesh.
And then, immediately following the completion of the South Canterbury Rally, Paddon will stretch the little touring car's legs at Timaru International Raceway with some demo laps.
Paddon's new i30 won't be the only race car present at Fieldays. Mitsubishi are bringing their own unique centre-piece; a replica of the race-spec Triton that races in Australia's ECB SuperUtes Series.
In terms of actually racing the i30 N, Paddon hasn't confirmed whether he will race the car in New Zealand's upcoming TCR series. The category is set to kick off next year, with Paddon's Hyundai being one of an approximate eight or nine TCR cars floating around New Zealand.
Included in those cars is a second i30 N, which currently races in the ENEOS North Island Endurance Series. It won on debut in the class at Pukekohe Raceway last month in the hands of Gene Rollinson and Jordan Michels. And, it's back in action this weekend for the category's series finale at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.