NEW ZEALAND’S HAYDEN PADDON IS CLOSE TO CONFIRMING AN EXPANDED WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAMME IN 2015.
Paddon, the 2011 Production Car World Champion, stepped up to the World Rally Car category this year with Hyundai’s Motorsport N team and Wales Rally GB will be his sixth appearance in an i20 WRC.
Some impressive results, including a maiden WRC stage win at October’s RallyRACC – Rally de Espana, kept the 27-year-old in contention for a full-time drive with the Korean manufacturer’s main squad next year, but he missed out when Dani Sordo was signed for a 10-round programme alongside team leader Thierry Neuville.
Today however Paddon revealed that his WRC dream was alive and well. “We’ll definitely be in the world championship next year in a World Rally Car, but there are a lot of details to be sorted,” he told wrc.com.
“It won’t be a full season, because we won’t be in Monte, instead the focus is to try and do all nine gravel rallies. We’re not quite there yet, so we need to keep negotiating.”
Paddon is believed to be talking to both M-Sport and Hyundai about next season.
“The preference is Hyundai but there are some other options” he explained. “Hopefully we’ll be able to announce something in the next couple of weeks. That’s when I hope to put pen to paper.”