Hayden Paddon and his co-driver John Kennard have confirmed they will contest a full 2010 FIA Production World Rally Championship (PWRC)
Paddon (22), from Geraldine, and Kennard, from Blenheim, are the only New Zealand team to have entered the 2010 Production World Rally Championship.
Nine of the 13 World Rally Championship events are specified as being PWRC rounds, and then competitors must complete six of those nine rallies around the globe in production-based Group N cars to be eligible for PWRC points.
“The PWRC teams run directly behind the WRC superstars like Sébastien Loeb, Mikko Hirvonen and WRC newcomer, ex Formula One driver Kimi Räikkönen,” explains Paddon.
Four of the PWRC events – Finland, France, Germany and Great Britain – are also rallies that the pair contests as one of the Pirelli Star Drivers.
“With the PSD campaign, we also contest Turkey and Portugal,” says Paddon. “But as these are not PWRC events, we will make up the six rounds needed to complete a PWRC campaign by adding our home event, Rally New Zealand in early May and Rally Japan two months later.”
While in Europe, Paddon will be at the wheel of a left-hand-drive Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X. For the additional PWRC rounds in New Zealand and Japan, he’ll be back in the Team Green Group N Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX, the car he used to win his place as a Pirelli Star Driver at Rally Australia last year.
“To think we will be competing in eight of this year’s 13 rounds of the World Rally Championship is massive, but there is a lot of hard work still to be done to ensure we can extend this campaign and be a contender at every WRC event in 2011!”
Paddon was able to put together the additional programme to compete in New Zealand and Japan after being named the inaugural recipient of the Rally New Zealand Rising Stars International Scholarship in November last year.
“The team has also been able to secure exciting support packages for the 2010 season from EDL Fasteners, Castrol, Rallytours and new Team Green supporter Contiki Tours,” adds Hayden. “And we’re looking forward to announcing further Team Green partners in coming weeks.”
Only two New Zealanders have previously been entered for the full PWRC: rally great Possum Bourne and last year’s Pirelli Star Driver recipient, fellow New Zealand rally driver Mark Tapper. Being able to compete in a full PWRC calendar means Paddon and the team can begin to put in place the next part of their plan: to work towards winning the Production World Rally Championship title.
“The goal this year is to learn the events – they will all be new events for John and me – but we also want to be competitive and we’re aiming for a podium championship result.”