HAYDEN Paddon says he’ll be pushing hard and taking risks in pursuit of a podium finish at Coates Hire Rally Australia next week.
The young Kiwi, who has been promoted to the Hyundai number one team for the Coffs Coast, will be glad to be back on a familiar gravel surface after the most recent round on German tarmac.
“That’s (podium) what we’re aiming for, for sure, but we’ve got to be realistic at the same time. The competition is already pretty tough with the Volkswagens, but then you have to throw in the likes of Kris Meeke and Ott Tänak who, like me, will have good road positions,” he told WRC.com.
“For sure we’re going to be pushing pretty hard. We want to take our performance to the next step and start to take a few more risks.
“After the last few events I’m feeling confident on gravel and if it stays dry we’ll hope to make the most of our road position.”
Another good performance in Australia – he was the highest-placed Hyundai driver here last year – should help negotiations for a new driving contract.
Considered one of the WRC’s most promising new talents, Paddon is looking to agree terms for 2016, most likely with his existing squad.
“We’re just focusing on where we are at the moment,” he said.
“Nothing’s signed and sealed yet but it’s getting close. Things are looking positive – let’s just say that.”
Paddon expects to make an announcement after Coates Hire Rally Australia.