Photo: TCR New Zealand

Hayden Paddon confirms TCR New Zealand entry

WRC star Hayden Paddon has confirmed that he will compete in the inaugural TCR New Zealand series when it launches in January.

Paddon, a multiple winner of the New Zealand Rally Championship and one-time WRC victor, will take part in the opening three rounds of the campaign driving a Hyundai i30 N TCR for his own Paddon Rallysport Group team.

PRG, based at the Highland Motorsport Park near Queenstown, has also secured a second-hand i30 N TCR from Italy ahead of the inaugural season, which kicks off at Highlands on January 17-19.

“TCR is a successful formula and it has taken off all around the world,” Paddon said. “It is exciting for me to confirm that I will contest the opening rounds.

“It offers an even playing field between different cars and different drivers and it has proven to be a formula that is working.

“Our team decided to get involved because we’re trying to branch out and look at new horizons. It’s the chance for the team to develop, try new avenues in the sport and continually push to get the most out of ourselves.

“I’ve done no circuit racing at all. Our race team is based at Highlands, so I’ve had the chance to drive plenty of different cars on tarmac, but never on a race track with other cars around me, so obviously there is going to be a lot to learn.

“I’m really excited for the challenge. We want to go out and enjoy ourselves, but at the same time, it’s a chance to learn a new discipline of the sport. I’m really looking forward to it.

Paddon’s former Hyundai WRC team-mate Thierry Neuville made a race-winning appearance in TCR Germany earlier this season.