Paddon to compete in ARC opener
Hayden Paddon has entered the opening round of the 2021 Australian Rally Championship.
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The Kiwi will drive a Walkem Motorsport-run Hyundai i20 R5 at the National Capital Rally in Canberra next March.
The deal marks a return to the squad for Paddon, who drove that same i20 at the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship round in Victoria in August 2019.
The Canberra outing may not be a one-off, either, the former World Rally Championship ace looking at a full ARC campaign next season.
“I am thrilled to again be working with the team at Walkem Motorsport and being part of the Australian Championship," Paddon said.
“For me, the Canberra event is a really exciting prospect. The only time I have been there was for my very first overseas trip as a holiday when I was 13 years old to watch the rally – so its exciting to return 20 years later to drive in the event.
“As we look towards next year, we are also discussing the potential of running a full ARC season in the Hyundai which would certainly be an exciting prospect for both myself and the Walkem Motorsport team.
"We hope to be able to confirm our full plans shortly.”
Team boss Graeme Walkem welcomed Paddon back to the fold.
“We have a great relationship with Hayden and are really pleased he will be back in the Walkem Motorsport-prepared Hyundai R5 machine,” Walkem said.
“Hayden has already shown how quick he can be in this car, having won the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship after a podium at Ballarat in 2019.
"We know Hayden will again be up for the fight with the top ARC contenders and will be eager to shake up the ARC podium.”
The National Capital Rally will run from March 26-28.
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