NEWS
Monday, Apr 15 06:00pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Hayden Paddon “definitely considering” TCR campaign

A desire to develop his craft is part of Hayden Paddon’s push to possibly contest next year’s inaugural TCR New Zealand Series.

 

A brand new Hyundai i30 N TCR race car is set to arrive on the doorstep of Paddon Rallysport at Highlands Motorsport Park next month.

 

Now based out of Cromwell near Queenstown, Paddon will base his Hyundai i20 AP4+ rally car and i30 N TCR circuit terror out of the new facility.

 

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Paddon has already confirmed he’ll use the car to develop his driving abilities on asphalt. With his base adjacent to the circuit, it means Paddon will have quick and easy access to the circuit to conduct testing.

 

This year he’ll contest at least two racing categories, the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and Global Rally Cross Europe.

 

The timing of MotorSport New Zealand’s announcement that TCR will be launched came only a day before Paddon announced his plans to bring a TCR-spec Hyundai into the country.

 

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His announcement made at the launch of the new Paddon Rallysport facilities was coincidental, and at this stage Paddon said they haven’t committed to the series.

 

“Like any form of motorsport it comes down to budget, we’ll definitely consider it depending on what will happen with the cars here,” Paddon told velocitynews.co.nz.

 

“We’re based at Highlands so it’s a good fit with the Hyundai brand. It looks very promising and it’s something that we’d be very interested in, but it’s probably a bit early before we confirm anything.

 

“We’ll see if we have any budget in place for that. That’ll be the next step.”

 

Understandably, Paddon is coy about committing to the series. At this stage the tender process has only just begun and a promoter hasn’t yet been confirmed for the series.

 

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Once a promoter is found and announced it is expected a calendar will follow. It is expected that the first round of the championship will take place alongside the Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Highlands Motorsport Park next year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be promoted by Speed Works Events.

 

No one has formally announced their interest in competing in the series, but several cars have already arrived into the country.

 

Paddon’s i30 N is on it’s way and another is expected to land in the country by the end of April. Already there are two Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR cars racing in the South Island, and a CUPRA TCR car has recently arrived. Two Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR cars are currently in the country, one which debuted at the ENEOS North Island Endurance Series last month (pictured below). An Audi RS 3 LMS is also rumoured to be on it’s way.

 

Honda

The Capri Racing-run Honda Civic Type R FK2 debuted at the North Island Endurance Series

 

With an eye on getting back into the World Rally Championship too, Paddon said he isn’t set on locking himself down to any domestic campaign next year.

 

“We need to see how the rally program progresses this year and into next year whether there are any opportunities,” Paddon said of his desire to get back to the top of world rallying.

 

“I love the idea of doing different forms of motorsport. I’d like to be quite diverse in my career and try to aim at different championships across different forms of motorsport, whether it be rally cross, rally, maybe try and win some circuit national championships moving forward and sort of be an all-rounder if you like.”

 

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