Decade of Drive: Hyundai NZ and Hayden Paddon Gear Up for Another Year of Rally Success

10 April, 2024

In a significant milestone for both Hyundai New Zealand and Kiwi rally champion Hayden Paddon, 2024 marks the continuation of a robust partnership and a decade of mutual success in the rally world. This collaboration has seen Paddon achieve remarkable milestones, including a historic win at Rally Argentina in 2016 and an outstanding 2023, securing victory in the European Rally Championship (ERC), all under the banner of Hyundai NZ’s support.

The enduring relationship between Hayden Paddon and Hyundai New Zealand, celebrating ten years in 2024, underscores not just a sponsorship but a deep-rooted commitment to rallying and the development of motorsport talent in New Zealand. This decade-long journey has been filled with achievements, learning, and shared passion, setting a precedent for how automotive brands and athletes can collaborate towards mutual goals.

Hyundai NZ’s reaffirmation of support for Paddon in 2024 not only highlights the brand’s dedication to motorsports but also cements Paddon’s role as an ambassador of rally sport, both locally and internationally. As they gear up for future challenges and competitions, the focus remains on leveraging this partnership to inspire and nurture the next generation of rally talent in New Zealand.

Scott Kelsey, the CEO of Hyundai New Zealand, emphasizes the significance of their collaboration with Hayden Paddon, stating, “As a technology-led brand, the relationship with Hayden allows us to showcase our innovations on a local and international stage.”

The reigning ERC champion remarked, “Our philosophy at Paddon Rallysport aligns closely with that of Hyundai. Always push the boundaries of what’s possible and embrace new technology. Rally and motorsport fans alike have a lot to look forward to with the advancement of electrified vehicle technologies.”

During this season, Paddon Racing Group will collaborate with Hyundai New Zealand to implement enhancements on the Kona EV Rally Car. These improvements aim to boost performance while adhering to the environmental advantages of electric vehicles.

Paddon has expressed excitement for Hyundai’s inaugural all-electric performance road car, the IONIQ 5 N.

“I was lucky enough to be among the first in New Zealand to take the 5 N for a spin. What a machine! This is as close to a race car as you can have for the road. It’s not mandatory to have pistons to have fun.

“The last ten years have flown by. It feels like we are just getting started, and there is much more to achieve in our sights. Not only are we committed to defending our ERC and NZ Rally Championship titles, but we also have another few big surprises up our sleeve,” he stated.

> Find out more about the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N