HAYDEN PADDON WILL CELEBRATE THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF HIS WRC DEBUT FOR HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT WITH AN UPGRADE TO HIS I20 WORLD RALLY CAR AT RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA (11 – 14 JUNE).
The Kiwi will benefit from the steering wheel-mounted paddle shift gear change that was introduced to the cars of team-mates Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo at April’s XION Rally Argentina.
Italy’s island-based gravel event, round six of the FIA World Rally Championship, was where 28-year-old Paddon made his debut for the Korean manufacturer in 2014.
“We’ve been driving the older specification car at the moment and there are a few upgrades that we’re waiting for,” Paddon told wrc.com.
“I’m not complaining, as a third driver at the team it’s part of my role. The focus is on learning at the moment and being patient, and when the updates come I’ll be grateful.”
Paddon goes to Italy boosted by his performance at last month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal. He finished eighth but showed good pace in fighting with Sordo and Mads Østberg for sixth.
“After the last couple of rallies it was nice to get to the finish. We were a lot more competitive this weekend than we have been in the past and I think we were closer to the whole field,” he added.