Hayden Paddon has been promoted to compete with Hyundai Motorsport in the upcoming Rally Australia following a recent run of strong gravel performances.

Though a late addition to the Hyundai driver line-up this season, Kiwi Paddon has proven something of a revelation in the i20 WRC, picking up a maiden podium in Sardignia and finishing fourth on Rally Poland.

Currently ninth in the overall standings, Paddon - a relative veteran of the Australian event - has been given the nod to drive alongside Thierry Neuville, taking the place of Sordo, who will instead compete in the third - Hyundai Motorsport N entry #20 - car.

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"I'm very pleased that the team has faith in me but at the end of the day it is just a car number change for me. I will have the same approach to the rally as always but this time I will be happy to challenge for points that can help the team in the Manufacturer standings," Paddon remarked.

With Hyundai currently locked into battle with Citroen and M-Sport for second in the manufacturers' standings, team principal Michel Nandan says Paddon's Rally Australia experience and his recent form means he is the more favourable candidate to nominate at this time.

"We are in tight fight for second in the Manufacturers Championship with just a few points separating us from Citroen. After careful consideration we have agreed that adapting momentarily our line-up offers us the best chance to secure the points we need on this unique and challenging event," Nandan explained.

"Hayden is very familiar with the rally and after his recent strong performances on gravel he is more than capable of supporting us in this battle. Dani did not compete in Australia in the last few years - and he never took part in the Coffs Harbour based event - so he has less experience of the particular demands of this rally.

"Meanwhile he still takes this opportunity with the #20 to get to know the stages and build his experience. He will be back in the #8 car at the Tour de Corse."