Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon has been dropped by his Hyundai team for next month’s Rally of Spain.
Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen has switched from Citroen to Hyundai for the remainder of the World Rally Championship, taking Paddon’s seat for Spain and throwing his future there in doubt.
Paddon’s struggled through 2017 to date, failed to finish three of his last five rallies and coming in eighth in the most recent leg in Germany.
Hyundai team principal Michael Nandan said falling 64 points behind M-Sport in the manufacturers title race forced the change.
“Reaching this decision was not easy but we felt it was necessary to reaffirm ourselves in the championship battle,” said Nandan.
“However, with us losing ground, we decided to re-evaluate the situation.
“We had an open discussion with all three of our crews, and informed them of our decision to make this adjustment.”
Mikkelsen is expected to drive full time for Hyundai next year, while Paddon and Sordo are expected to share the team’s third car.