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Paddon to have new co-driver after Finland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/03/2017

Hayden Paddon and long-time co-driver John Kennard are to end their partnership after the Finland round of the World Rally Championship in late July.

The pair have been together for the past 12 years, going from domestic competition to the upper echelons of the sport.

Last April, Kennard, at 57, became the oldest co-driver to win a WRC round after Paddon claimed his breakthrough victory in Rally Argentina.

It was in Finland in 1985 that Kennard made his WRC debut with now-business partner Brent Rawstron.

He says it will be hard to lever himself out of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC seat for the last time.

"But our deal has always been that I help Hayden in the most effective way possible and to have been his co-driver for so long has been incredibly fulfilling and rewarding," he said.

"Now, as we push to achieve that ultimate goal, it's timely that we re-arrange roles for maximum effect and to help complete the quest we're all on - to bring the WRC trophy home to New Zealand."

Paddon, 29, said Kennard had played a huge part in his career.

"We have achieved so much together and it has been quite a journey of highs and lows," he said.

"It's certainly sad to end the partnership, but we have been discussing over the last couple of years when was the best for both of us to make the transition with an eye towards the future."

Paddon said Kennard would continue to help him behind the scenes.

An announcement regarding Kennard's replacement is expected in the next few days.

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