Paddon returning for his ‘favourite event’

Hayden Paddon
Hayden Paddon
Hayden Paddon has confirmed he will return to compete in Otago this year.

The Kiwi World Rally Championship star will race the Otago Rally in his Hyundai i20 AP4+.

It will give him a chance to defend the title he won in 2018, when alongside co-driver John Kennard he came in more than eight minutes ahead of second place.

Paddon, who competes in the world’s top races, said the event was his favourite.

"The Otago Rally is my favourite event," he said.

"I love the smooth, fast roads, and the enthusiasm that Dunedin has for the event. 

"The camaraderie of the New Zealand rally community is a special thing to be part of."

The announcement comes alongside that of Winmax Brakes and Paddon Rallysport signing as the naming-rights sponsors for the Otago Classic Rally.

That will headlined by Norwegian Mads Ostberg, who will drive a Ford Escort RS1800.

Event spokesman Roger Oakley said organisers were delighted to secure that support, and commented on the significance of Paddon’s presence in the main event.

"Having Hayden competing at Otago is exciting for everyone involved," Oakley said.

"He brings world-class action for the spectators, and a benchmark for the competitors. 

"Hayden is a wonderful ambassador of the sport, and does a huge amount to promote it."

The rally is round one of the New Zealand Rally Championship, as well as the opening round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

Two days of racing will be held over the weekend of April 13 and 14.

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