Hayden Paddon says his opportunity to race in the factory Hyundai for WRC is humbling and will be aiming to produce his best performance as he fills in for the injured Dani Sordo.

Paddon was originally billed to drive for Hyundai's second team - Hyundai Mobis World Rally Team - but after Sordo suffered two broken ribs falling off his mountain bike while training near his Spanish home, Paddon has been upgraded into Sordo's Hyundai i20 WRC car.

"It's humbling to be given the chance to be a part of the official team and to help them score points in the manufacturer's championship," Paddon said. "Of course it adds a little pressure to finish the rally to make sure we can score points for the team but in saying this, the plan is always to finish, so we will not change our approach.

"Our engineer will move with us to focus on the Hyundai i20. All the cars are virtually the same anyway; the only small difference is that we do have to use some of Dani's setup as some components are linked. But this isn't a problem, and I'm excited by the prospect of driving car."

Hyundai's test driver Kevin Abbring will now race in Paddon's car in Sweden and Paddon is expected to return once Sordo is back from injury for the remainder of the season.

This season's event will represent the Kiwi's second Rally Sweden, which is the only winter-classified rally on the calendar. Paddon finished 23rd in his debut Swedish rally in 2012 and he admits his limited experience in the event might work against him and co-driver John Kennard.

"There's no doubt Swedish rally roads in winter make this a unique event where experience counts for a lot," Paddon said. "John and I have contested Rally Sweden just once before, in 2012, so understandably our experience is a little lacking.

"However, I do enjoy the fast nature of the Swedish stages and the style is not so different to gravel. If anything you can be flamboyant and take greater risks as, with the snow banks, there is greater room for error."

"We use our old notes where we can but, for this event, the stage notes that we do have are three years old and a bit has changed in that time," Paddon says. "So they require a lot of work. Having said that, it will help us having these notes already as we study more recent in-car footage."

Rally Sweden commences from Karlstad on Thursday evening (12 February) and finishes on Sunday (15 February).



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