WORLD CHAMP CONFIRMS SKODA FOR AUSTRALIA

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WORLD CHAMP CONFIRMS SKODA FOR AUSTRALIA

HAYDON PADDON_RALLY GB_ SKODA(Event release, 9/7/2013)  NEW Zealand’s world champion rally driver Hayden Paddon has confirmed he will enter a Skoda Fabia S2000 in Coates Hire Rally Australia in September.

Paddon, who won the 2011 Production World Rally Championship and is a two-time New Zealand champion, revealed his plans in a Facebook post with a picture of the Skoda loaded in a container in Austria.

“Our car packed and on its way to ‎#rallyaustralia ‎#wrc. 8 weeks to get there,” Paddon, 25, wrote on Facebook.

Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast on 12-15 September will be Paddon’s third appearance in Australia’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

He contested Repco Rally Australia in the NSW Northern Rivers in 2009, winning the Pirelli Star Driver shootout and a fully-funded drive in six rounds of the 2010 WRC.

In 2011, he clinched the PWRC at Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast, marking the first time an Australian or New Zealand drive had won a world rally title.

After a difficult 2012 WRC campaign, Paddon and co-driver John Kennard will rejoin the series next month on Neste Oil Rally Finland, then contest Rally Germany before heading to Australia.

After announcing a new partnership with Vehicle Inspection New Zealand, Paddon spokesman Peter Swaney said: “As well as the European Rally Championship’s Ypres Rally and the scheduled WRC rounds in Finland and Germany, we are now able to add Rally Australia to our schedule.

“We do still have some funds to still find, but with some good results we would like to get Hayden and John to further events beyond this in 2013 as well. We are all working hard toward this goal.”

The second half of 2013 also sees Paddon and the team continue their New Zealand Championship campaign.

“We currently lead the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) but will miss the next two rounds, Daybreaker and Canterbury, and will look to return to the NZRC field for the Possum Bourne Memorial rally in early September which runs the weekend before Rally Australia,” says Paddon.

“I am very lucky to have such a great team around me, and all our guys here will be working hard on our Stadium Cars Evo9 to get it ready for this event while we are competing in Europe.”

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.