News that Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon will compete in the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship in 2012 has been welcomed by officials from Rally New Zealand.

Confirmation came today [see separate story - click here] and Peter 'PJ' Johnston, who chairs Rally New Zealand, believes it is an exciting development for motorsport in New Zealand.

"We are delighted that with the support of his management company's shareholders and sponsors such as the Giltrap Group and PlaceMakers, Hayden has been able to confirm his entry into the Super 2000 World Rally Championship in a Skoda Fabia S2000 car for next year," said Johnston.

"Hayden made history with his PWRC victory and now he's done it again with his entry into the SWRC, which is the key WRC feeder series and something that no other Kiwi has ever contested before. Hayden is a fantastic ambassador for New Zealand as a whole, as well as our sport."

Many people and organisations have played a part in the talented Kiwi's increasingly successful career.

"Hayden has had the opportunity to learn and improve his skills through various initiatives such as MotorSport New Zealand's Elite Academy and Rally New Zealand's Rising Stars driver development programme. With his own considerable talents and determination, Hayden is now one of the - if not the most successful rally driver to ever come out of New Zealand. We're delighted to have played some part in his success."

Johnston also added that it will be a big boost for Rally NZ 2012: "When the 2012 running of Rally New Zealand takes place from 21 to 24 June, it's going to be tremendously exciting for Kiwi fans to see Hayden competing in the very quick Skoda Fabia against a whole new class of competitors. We're all looking forward to seeing Hayden in action."