Current New Zealand Rally Champion Hayden Paddon has announced that he and ‘Tean Green’ will contest the full APRC series for 2009.
“This is massive for my career and almost like a full-time drive. There’s nothing better I can think of than to be rally driving as a job and this is a big step towards that”, explained an enthusiastic Hayden.
Having won last years New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC), the 21-year-old aims to further develop his driving skills in different terrains and conditions.
“On paper we’ve achieved all we can here in New Zealand, although the roads are fantastic for perfecting a fully committed driving style, something I still have work to do on. But as we found in Malaysia last season, when we crashed out in atrocious conditions, rallying is also about managing your speed so you make the finish. It’s a fine line between speed and being too careful, so there’s no better way to learn about it than to put it into practice.”
The team’s programme will include returning to defend their New Zealand crown, which will include five rallies throughout the country, plus the non-championship Rally New Zealand.
Team Green has committed to the six round Asia Pacific Championship, and have confirmed entries for New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand and China, with unding still to be found for the Japan and Indonesia rounds of the series. And to cap off the year, the team use Rally Australia as another chance to compare themselves to the world’s best.
During the off-season Tean Green has rebuilt the Evo 8 used in their 2007 campaign, which will be used for the APRC rounds. “For our international programme we have to keep in mind that these are new events and the main objective is to gain as much experience as possible. While the aim on every event we compete is to win, it may on occasion be a matter of pulling it back a notch and driving at a level that ensures we get as many valuable kilometres as possible.”
Source: www.hayden-paddon.com. Photos courtesy of Linear Photographs