South Canterbury rally ace Hayden Paddon is heading back to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in August, with races lined up in Finland and Germany.
The 25-year-old yesterday confirmed he and co-driver John Kennard were returning to Europe after his management team brokered a deal with the the WRC.
"For now we have entered the WRC2 [formally known as Super 2000] and will be driving the same Skoda S2000 with the same BRR [Baumschlager Rallye and Racing] team that we ran the second part of last year.
"I'm really excited to get back to Europe and prove our speed.
"It will also be a pleasure to be back behind the wheel of a S2000 car," he said.
"The rules in this year's WRC2 have changed a little so that you can nominate any six rounds of the WRC."
There are four rounds of the championship left after Germany.
"We could tackle a full championship but at present we do not have the budget for this," Paddon said.
He said the main target of their campaign would be "to put our name back out there and to get two good results - which has to be to win".
"In order to get the attention of the teams, and particularly the new teams coming back to the sport, we need to set fast stage times and put ourselves head to head with the best young drivers from all over the world.
"I know we can deliver, so I can't wait."
With the Rally of Finland at the beginning of August, Paddon said they would spend July in Europe, "as we try to meet with people and seek further opportunities".
In the meantime, they would continue with their New Zealand Rally Championship campaign, including the Whangarei race next week.
- © Fairfax NZ News