Hayden Paddon team first to enter Rally NZ

Last updated 05:00 11/05/2012

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Kiwi rally stars Hayden Paddon and John Kennard are the first competitors to submit their entry for Rally New Zealand, which runs from June 21-24.

The 25-year-old Paddon will be using a Skoda Fabia S2000 rally car on his home event for the first time.

The event is also the seventh round of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship.

Paddon said he was keen to race back in New Zealand.

"I've been looking forward to a New Zealand WRC round for the past two years, as soon as we crossed the finish ramp as the top New Zealand crew for the 2010 edition of Rally New Zealand.

"It's going to be great to have the Skoda here – it's a fantastic car – and John and I are looking forward to enjoying a lot of support from Kiwi fans on the side of the rally route."

The ASM Motorsport-prepared Skoda will arrive from the team's Spanish base about 10 days before the rally starts.

Paddon said he had some sponsor and other promotional activities to do before the reconnaissance, which is 2 1/2 days before the rally starts.

At their last event, Rally de Portugal, Paddon recovered from mechanical issues to take an extraordinary win which moved the team into second place on the SWRC leaderboard.

There are also still a few seats available on Paddon's supporters tour for rally enthusiasts or anyone interested in having a closer look at a world champion.

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- The Timaru Herald

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