Hayden Paddon to contest PWRC with Symtech Racing
Up and coming New Zealander Hayden Paddon is to join forces with Belgian team Symtech Racing for an assault on the Production Car World Rally Championship this year.
This series, for four-wheel drive Group N turbocharged cars, forms part of the World Rally Championship, where Symtech has already accumulated plenty of international experience.
Paddon, selected as one of the world's most promising young talents to form part of the FIA-backed Pirelli Star Driver scheme last year, will drive the Symtech-prepared Subaru Impreza STR11: a car designed and built entirely in Belgium. Symtech has operated consistently at the cutting edge of Group N technology, being one of the very first teams to run the latest-specification Impreza.
The 23-year-old has already shown some very impressive results in only a short space of time, and his aim is firmly to win the 2011 Production Car World Rally Championship title. Paddon was recently nominated by British-based Autosport magazine, well-known for being the industry standard, as one of the top 10 rally drivers in the world in 2010. Now he aims to underline this fact.
Symtech and Paddon have nominated the following six PWRC events on which they will score points this year: Vodafone Rally de Portugal (24-27 March), Rally Argentina (26-29 May), Neste Oil Rally Finland (28-31 July), Rally Australia (8-11 September), Rally de Espana (20-23 October) and Wales Rally GB (10-13 November).
Paddon, who is co-driven by his compatriot John Kennard, will have a two-day test before the Rally de Portugal in order to familiarise himself fully with the state of the art Impreza STR11.
Symtech Racing's Dirk Van Der Sluys commented: "We're absolutely delighted that Hayden will be joining our team in 2011 for the Production Car World Rally Championship. He's a world-class driver: a fact that has of course been recognised by motorsport's governing body, the FIA, as well as the worldwide media. I know that he's going to like our STR11 very much as it suits his style, which is equally strong on both asphalt and gravel. Combined with our experience and know-how, I'm convinced that together with Hayden and John we're going to be an extremely strong force on the Production Car World Rally Championship this year."
Last year, Paddon finished third on the PWRC in only his debut season and in 2011 the youngster has his sights set firmly on overall victory. said Paddon. "As we found out in 2010, there is simply no room for error at this level. This is our first time dealing with Symtech, but Dirk, Wim and the rest of the team are really enthusiastic about working with us. They are every bit as motivated to win the Production Car World Rally Championship as we are. All the ingredients are there for it to be a successful relationship and we are confident that the car will be very competitive."
-source: symtech racing