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New Zealand rally champion enters the Get Connected Rali Ceredigion

Hayden Paddon

New Zealand’s World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon has entered the Get Connected Rali Ceredigion on September 3 and 4.

The Rally Argentina winner, former Production WRC Champion and five-times New Zealand rally champion will drive a Hyundai i20 N, similar to the car he is currently using to contest selected events in this year’s WRC Rally 2 Championship, when he lines up in Aberystwyth to start Wales’ only International status rally.

With Paddon a competitor and ambassador with the Tour European Rally (TER) series – and this year’s Get Connected Rali Ceredigion a round of its prestigious six-round calendar – he was eager to find out more about the rally that broke new ground when it first took place in 2019.

“We’re very pleased to be concluding our European tour with Rali Ceredigion, an event I’ve heard a great deal about,” he said. “I have spent some time in the area in the past with Wales Rally GB but normally on the gravel forestry stages, so I’m looking forward to experiencing Welsh tarmac and really appreciate the warm welcome we’ve received in response to our entry.”

Organisers are delighted that the reigning New Zealand rally champion has opted to compete in this year’s event.

Chairman of the organising committee Phil Pugh said: “It’s great that Hayden, a driver with such a world-class standing, will be joining us this year. It just shows how far the reputation of our event has spread, bearing in mind we’ve only held the rally once.

“We are sure that his appearance will appeal to spectators and see an increase in the publicity surrounding our event, which in-turn will help us to engage with a greater audience, not just in the UK but on the other side of the world too!”

With sustainability and environmental considerations key pillars of this year’s Get Connected Rali Ceredigion, Paddon’s interest in the event is even more significant, as he and his team have been intrinsically involved with an important EV rally car project.

Based on a Hyundai Kona, Paddon Rallysport designed and built a fully-electric rally car that was revealed to the world in November 2020. Following an extensive test and development programme, this game-changing vehicle made its competition debut on New Zealand’s South Island where, with Paddon at the wheel, it won the 4km Waimate Hillclimb.

Paddon will drive a Hyundai i20 N, supplied and run by successful Dumfries-based motorsport preparation specialists Albatec. The co-driver is yet to be announced.