Organisers for the returning Rally New Zealand have welcomed the promotion of Hayden Paddon to a more comprehensive World Rally Championship programme with Hyundai Motorsport.

The Kiwi will partake in nine events at the wheel of the Hyundai i20 WRC in 2015, a reward for his eye-catching efforts in the car during a six-event stint towards the end of the 2014 season.

A former Production WRC title winner and multiple New Zealand Rally Champion, Paddon has made 35 WRC starts over the years, but only seven of these have come in a full-specification WRC car.

Related Articles

Following Hyundai's announcement, Paddon's efforts have duly been recognised by organisers for the Rally New Zealand, which is expected to return to the schedule for 2016 after an absence of five years.

"It's fantastic for the sport in New Zealand to see Hayden announce his 2015 program," said Rally New Zealand Chairman Peter Johnston. "We are all very proud of what he has been able to achieve through determination, hard work, and the outright speed he has in a World Rally Car.

"On behalf of our team and Kiwi motorsport fans, we would like to congratulate Hayden on what he has achieved in 2014 in his debut season at the top level, and look forward to supporting him throughout 2015."

One of the WRC's more iconic events, the Rally New Zealand has not featured on the calendar since 2012 when organisers opted against the proposal of a 'one year on, one year off' format for certain rounds.