Hayden Paddon has partnered with gamer Kyle Robertson and designer Jack Hintz to form the inaugural Hyundai NZ global online rally series.
Open to any ardent sim racer around the world, top prizes include a drive in Paddon’s Hyundai i20 AP4 and a cash reward of $500.
Kickstarting on June 12, the four-round series utilises the DiRT Rally 2.0 platform which can be played on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The virtual series opens with the staging of Rally USA followed by a doubleheader round in Finland and Poland. The third event in July will be played in Spain before the Eseries concludes in August with the running of a virtual Rally New Zealand.
An individual and teams competition are set to run, with both using the R5 4WD cars included in the game.
“It’s been great to see online simulation racing grow in popularity in recent months,” said Paddon.
“It’s a great way to interact with new and existing motorsport fans, and a particularly good way to get some new young people involved.
“Together with Hyundai New Zealand, we thought there was a great opportunity to put together a small series where you can win a drive in our actual rally car – a world-first for a rally game. Teaming up with Kyle and Jack, we have set up the Hyundai NZ global online rally series to make sure it’s enjoyable and rewarding for all players, no matter their level or part of the world.”
Paddon has confirmed his appearance in the virtual competition but admits he has found large difficulty in converting his real-life skill into the simulated world.
“Let’s just say I find driving a simulator harder than the real car, so plenty of people will be able to beat me,” he added. “But it’s hugely enjoyable and I’m looking forward to it.”
Another confirmed entry is Ashburton-based sim racer Kyle Robertson who will be competing in the teams’ competition alongside designer friend Jack Hintz.
“As an organiser and competitor, I’m excited about the series getting underway,” said Robertson.
“Hayden, Jack and I have had a lot to work through in a short space of time, and I think adding teams’ championship brings an exciting new dimension to this kind of eSport. Jack and I have recruited a great team and we’ll be taking the fight to the Paddon Rallysport team! In earlier events, we’ve seen incredibly close stage times between our teams’ drivers and especially between me, Hayden and Jack. There’s definitely a battle for bragging rights ahead.”
Interested parties must register their interest here by June 10.