Paddon and Hyundai launch young rally driver scholarship

Paddon and Hyundai launch young rally driver scholarship

Hyundai New Zealand is facilitating one aspiring Kiwi rally driver to get a big boost to their career.

This is the result of Paddon and Hyundai New Zealand collaborating to create the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship.

The winner will be afforded the opportunity to drive the Hyundai NZ AP4 i20 rally car in two rounds of the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship. The car will be operated and run by Paddon Rallysport, including testing and training with Paddon, as well as the potential for an expanded programme in 2018. 

paddonPaddon – arguably New Zealand’s most successful rally driver – currently holds fourth in the FIA World Rally Championship’s drivers’ standings.

“It’s not just about the fastest driver,” he says. “We’re looking for the whole package – personality, motivation and ability to learn and improve, as well as outright performance during the shootout. The winner may not necessarily be competing in the New Zealand Rally Championship at this stage – we are looking for someone that stands out and has the X factor.”

He explains that the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship is the first step of a plan created earlier this year. “We want to help grow the sport and help develop the career of a talented young driver – to give a leg up to the next potential Kiwi international rally star,” he says.

“We haven’t had a scholarship of this magnitude in New Zealand rallying for some years.”

Hyundai New Zealand general manager Andy Sinclair shares the same vision and passion as Paddon to grow the sport of rallying in New Zealand while searching for new young talent.

“It’s incredibly hard for Kiwi drivers to make their way to the highest levels in this spectacular global sport. We were very proud to have helped Hayden right when he needed to take the step up into a WRC drive; now this scholarship will give one lucky Kiwi driver a huge step forward in their rallying career. As a New Zealand-owned company we are very excited to help find the next Kiwi WRC star,” he says.

Applications to drivers aged 16 to 25 – who have contested a minimum of 10 rallies – close on October 19. For further information visit

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