Hayden Paddon will return to the WRC in August when he begins a fresh campaign in the WRC2 category.
Paddon, a former PWRC Champion, will drive a BBR-prepared Skoda Fabia S2000 on Neste Oil Rally Finland and ADAC Rallye Deutschland alongside co-driver John Kennard
The Kiwi is trying to secure the funding to allow him to contest another four events in the second half of the year – enough to put him in title contention.
In 2011 Paddon became the only New Zealander to win a world rally championship title when he secured the FIA Production World Rally Championship.
“It’s amazing to be back in the WRC,” said Paddon. “It may only be two events at this stage, but after last year I am more determined than ever to put the record straight and showcase what I know we can do – to be the fastest.”
“I know we can beat all the other competitors in WRC2, and there are a lot of very good drivers there. It won’t be easy, but the target will be to win, and they are both events that I enjoy.”
The Kiwi says his priority this year has been to secure the funding to get back to Europe and compete in events that showcase his talents and speed.
“We continue to work very hard on securing a full-time opportunity in the WRC for 2014,” he explained. “Events such as Finland and Germany, which I’ve contested and done well in previously, help us get the attention of the management of the new WRC teams and hopefully allow us to process the discussions we’ve been having with various people.”
“It is a hard game with the financial demands required, but we are so close and now we have to step it up. It’s been many years since there have been so many opportunities for drivers with new manufacturers entering the sport, so now is the time!”