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Paddon to co-manage 2017 NZRC team

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/03/2017 Angelo Risso
Hayden Paddon of New Zealand during the press conference of the WRC Portugal on May 19, 2016 in Porto, Portugal © Getty Hayden Paddon of New Zealand during the press conference of the WRC Portugal on May 19, 2016 in Porto, Portugal

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon will co-manage a Hyundai Rally team with his father in the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship.

The 29-year-old Cantabrian, currently ranked ninth in the World Rally Championship, will put up a team across six events between April and November.

Driving a Hyundai i20 AP4+, defending NZ Rally champion David Holder will drive for Paddon Rallysport in April's Otago Rally and Rally of Whangarei.

Young gun Job Quantock, who won a scholarship with the vehicle company in December, will then take the driver's seat for the Canterbury and Waikato Rallies.

Paddon himself will round out the schedule for August's Rally Coromandel and the Tauranga-based Rally New Zealand in November.

Paddon and Wanaka-based father Chris have also appointed engineer Mike Pittams as the Hyundai team's car chief, as well as other rally car technicians.

"This rally programme is like a baby to me and gives me a lot of satisfaction," Paddon said.

"We are running what is essentially a manufacturer-dealer team in the NZ Rally Championship, which is fantastic."

Paddon has endured a tough start to the WRC circuit in 2017, having been involved in an accident at the Monte Carlo Rally that killed a spectator.

He is currently back in New Zealand ahead of next weekend's WRC third round in Mexico.

Paddon admitted the WRC would always be his first priority as a driver but said participating in the NZ Rally Championship had its perks.

The goal would be to win the manufacturers' championship title.

"To keep me sane, it's good to have projects outside the WRC, they give me a different perspective on things," Paddon said.

"I miss New Zealand a lot and we have the best roads and rallies, so to have the chance to still compete at home is amazing."

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