MEDIA CENTRE

Hyundai amp up backing for Paddon

Hyundai Press Release Hyundai amp up backing for Paddon 24022017 2

Hyundai New Zealand, a key partner in Hayden Paddon’s international rallying career, aims to create the largest motorsport supporters’ club in the world with the launch of ‘Paddon’s Pack’, an interactive online community for Paddon supporters.

Paddon is already New Zealand’s most successful rally driver on the international stage, yet the modest Kiwi, who drives for Hyundai in the FIA World Rally Championship aims to achieve much more. Hundreds of thousands of fans already follow Paddon via his social media channels and website. With Paddon’s Pack, Hyundai New Zealand wants to share the excitement of being part of Paddon’s journey to the top of world rallying.

Hyundai New Zealand has supported Paddon since 2014 when he was signed to Hyundai Motorsport, the Germany-based World Rally Championship team backed by the Korean car manufacturer.

Hyundai New Zealand also backs Paddon’s continued efforts to grow New Zealand’s rally-sport scene, for example:  they jointly launched the first-ever New Zealand-developed AP4-spec Hyundai i20 rally car in March 2016. Paddon piloted the AP4-spec Hyundai i20 car in two events last year, making history with the biggest-ever winning margin at the Otago Rally in the brand-new car.

“We’re immensely proud of Hayden’s successes to date,” says Andy Sinclair, Hyundai New Zealand’s General Manager. “When Hayden and long-time co-driver John Kennard won Rally Argentina last year… wow, that was an amazing, history-making achievement for New Zealand motorsport!”

“We know there’s a tremendous amount of support for Hayden and John from Kiwi fans, and rally fans all over the world – together, we already form Paddon’s Pack. The introduction of our dedicated Paddon’s Pack Supporters Club, www.haydenpaddon.com, brings together all the ways we fans can share in and feel part of Hayden’s world rallying achievements. It’s a very tangible way for Hayden’s supporters to join Hyundai New Zealand in saying ‘we are proud to be Paddon’s Pack’.”

Back in New Zealand briefly before the third WRC round of the year in Mexico, Paddon said: ‘I’m really excited by this new initiative, allowing our fans to interact and be more involved with us throughout our journey.

“In this modern day of technology, it’s only natural that greater opportunities exist for our fans and supporters and Paddon’s Pack is doing just that – taking things to the next level.”

It’s free to sign up to be part of Paddon’s Pack – simply visit www.haydenpaddon.com and register to be in Paddon’s official supporters’ club. Fans will find a great resource of material that Paddon has put together.

There are regular updates from WRC and New Zealand rallies and exclusive behind-the-scenes details of Paddon’s pre-rally preparation. Paddon’s Pack members will also enjoy member-only rewards and competitions, as well as question-and-answer opportunities with Paddon. As Paddon’s schedule allows, member-only meet and greet events are also planned, as are further features and developments for Paddon’s Pack members.

Quantock selected as winner of Hyundai NZ Young Driver Scholarship

Job Quantock left winner Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout co driver Alan Steel Hayden Paddon LR

Canterbury’s Job Quantock has won the biggest rally driver development package on offer in New Zealand motorsport by being selected as the winner of the inaugural Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship.

The Hyundai NZ Young Driver Scholarship is a programme developed by star New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon in partnership with Hyundai New Zealand and the Hyundai-backed Pinnacle Programme for talented teenagers.

Originally from Ashburton and now based Ohoka, north of Christchurch, 22-year-old Quantock will now benefit in a range of ways from the programme designed to boost his motorsport career aspirations, including the opportunity to drive the Hyundai NZ AP4 i20 rally car run by Paddon Rallysport in two rounds of the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship, as well as testing and training with Paddon. There is also the potential for an expanded programme in 2018 for Quantock with the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Scholarship.

Quantock is relatively new to rally competition, having contested his first full season this year, yet he took second overall in the 2016 Mainland Rally Series and finished second in two other regional rallies. He impressed Paddon and other judges to win the two-day shootout held in Auckland and the Maramarua Forest which finished late today (Saturday 10 December). Quantock and the other four finalists went through fitness assessments and classroom sessions from Paddon and other guest experts on sponsorship planning, nutrition, media presence, career planning, writing pace notes and car set-up, before enjoying time behind the wheel of the Hyundai AP4 car with his co-driver and university friend Alan Steel.

The scholarship attracted over 180 applicants with the other four finalists being:

•          Max Bayley, 20, Hawke’s Bay

•          Sloan Cox, 24, Rotorua

•          Matt Summerfield, 24, Rangiora

•          Dylan Thomson, 21, Waiuku

Speaking shortly after being told he’d won the scholarship, Quantock was still finding the right words. “It’s amazing; a surreal feeling to win. There was always a chance of winning, but I wasn’t too sure how big a chance we had, being relatively new to the sport. It was whoever had the best package that Hyundai was looking for; luckily that was us.”

Quantock says his time in the Hyundai AP4 car with co-driver Alan Steel was a big highlight. “The whole package that Hayden and Hyundai have put on this weekend has been invaluable. A big thank you to Hayden and Hyundai for this amazing opportunity – it’s pretty unreal for where Alan and I are going in this sport and for the New Zealand motorsport community as a whole. Where Hayden’s going and where he’s taking the sport is amazing and it’s going to be great, not only for our future and everyone’s future, I believe.”

Quantock also paid credit to his fellow finalists and their co-drivers at the shootout. “Everyone’s been very friendly and welcoming. I hadn’t met them all before, but I’ve already made great friends.”

Paddon says there were a few reasons why Quantock stood out. “Job is definitely the most inexperienced of the crews in the final, but he showed a lot of potential in all aspects – from the fitness sessions to how he conducted himself throughout the two days. He fits the whole philosophy of the Hyundai brand to foster new talent. I think Job can be a great ambassador for rallying, a great ambassador for Hyundai and he has a lot of potential to learn and improve. We believe he can be a New Zealand champion and potentially compete well internationally.”

Paddon said the shootout judging was almost harder than a rally. “It was made even harder with how good and how close everyone was when we came to actually pick a winner. We weren’t just looking for the fastest driver – it’s the whole package, about their long-term potential.

“Over the whole weekend, everyone was attentive with everything we talked about. It’s a great feeling for us that they found the shootout valuable, so I hope they’ve all taken something away from it, some of the secrets, I guess you could call them that I’ve worked on over the few years that we don’t normally tell people.

“Our thanks to everyone at Hyundai New Zealand and our team who put the whole shootout programme together. Without Hyundai, the shootout and the scholarship ahead for Job and Alan would not be possible.”

Bernice Mene, leader of the Hyundai-backed Pinnacle Programme for talented teens, says the shootout sits well alongside the Pinnacle Programme. “It’s the whole mentoring process, looking at your support network. With Pinnacle, we’re working with students who are slightly younger than the shootout contestants, but the process is similar in how we get them to reflect on where they are, what their goals are, how they’re resourced and where they can think they can improve. You don’t know about these things until you’re exposed to them through programmes like this shootout. Hayden’s passion to give back, that’s exactly Pinnacle’s and Hyundai’s strategy to give back to youth and to nurture them to be bigger and better than they are now.”

Mene observed the different backgrounds, ages, approaches and support networks of the five finalists. “I think Hayden highlighted for them all to have processes in place, break the goals down to achieve your dream. The contestants now see those pathways and contacts they can tap into. They also said the hands-on practical stuff was so useful – to have Hayden driving them around in the van taking recce notes; no one’s ever done that with them before, so they said it’s just really amazing to learn from Hayden.

“I could see many points Hayden talked about transfers across to other sports, but rallying is such a team sport, a specialist sport, you need even more diverse skills, like budgeting and financials, than a netball or rugby player.”

Throughout the two days, participants asked if the shootout will be an annual occurrence. Paddon says that nothing is confirmed yet, but he hopes so. “The idea is that this is phase one. We’d certainly encourage the other finalists and the guys who joined us for the classroom sessions to reapply if we run this again next year.”

Paddon and Mene were joined on the judging panel by rally driver Reece Jones, Newshub senior sports reporter Shaun Summerfield and former Rally New Zealand chairman Chris Carr. Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship was open to drivers aged 16-25 with applicants having contested a minimum of 10 rallies, including four pace-noted rallies.

Ultimate accolade for Bayswater Hyundai

Hyundai Press Release Ultimate accolade for Bayswater Hyundai 24112016 1

From Hawkes Bay to the world: Bayswater Hyundai Napier/Hastings has been named Hyundai Motor Company’s best dealership in the entire Asia-Pacific region.

The awards, held in Sydney last week as part of Hyundai’s 2016 Global Top Dealer Summit, put the dealership up against finalists from the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and Malaysia. Bayswater had the highest scores across all categories: sales performance, customer satisfaction and sales management.

The best-performing dealers from Hyundai Motor’s global sales network across 72 countries attended the event to mark their achievements and discuss future trends in the automotive industry.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair said the award was appropriate recognition of a dealership where all staff worked closely together and had the customer’s interests first and foremost.

“It’s fantastic to see Bayswater pick up such a prestigious award. They set very high standards in everything they do, and we are very proud to have them as part of the Hyundai family,” he said.

Bayswater Hyundai dealer principal Rob Townshend said the award is the biggest ever garnered by the dealership and to win was “totally unexpected”.

“It was very emotional to accept this award on behalf of all the Bayswater team. My business partner Mel Chan and I consider ourselves extremely lucky to have such a great team of talented and dedicated people right across our dealerships,” he said.

Mr Townshend paid special tribute to Baywater’s people.

“Our people work extremely hard every day to make our business the success that it is, delivering the first-rate service to our many customers. Our customers, in turn, are like family and we also owe them our sincere thanks. We’re very fortunate to work closely with Hyundai New Zealand, who support us and push us to succeed, it’s a great partnership that we really appreciate,” he said.

The Best dealer award coincides with Bayswater Napier/Hastings regularly featuring in Hyundai and industry awards in New Zealand and their most recent recognition as the Most Improved Business in the Small Workplace category at the recent IBM Kenexa awards

Paddon focuses on own performance in Australia

Hayden Paddon John Kennard WRC Australia ceremonial start by Vettas Medi...

Hayden Paddon and co-driver John Kennard head to Rally Australia focussed putting together their perfect performance as they contest the last round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.


“We learnt a valuable lesson here last year,” says Paddon, “where we put too much pressure on ourselves for a particular result and we didn't perform well. So this year the focus is on putting together the perfect performance and that’s what we’ve worked on with our preparation.”


The 17-20 November rally is one Paddon enjoys due to the amount of support he and Kennard receive from Australian and Kiwi spectators. “Just competing so close to home and having so much support here is what makes the event special,” he says. “Also the long 50km Nambucca stage is one of my favourite stages of the year so I always look forward to this.”


Most of the rally route around host town Coffs Harbour, New South Wales is the same or very similar to last year with Paddon describing two general types of stages. “There are heavily gravelled public roads – closed for the event, of course – which are not too dissimilar to stages we have on several New Zealand events, and then there are soft, slippery stages through rainforest which have a completely different nature.”


Currently fourth in the WRC drivers’ championship, just three points behind Andreas Mikkelsen in third place, Paddon will be running fourth on the road for Friday’s and Saturday’s 255km of stages.


“There will be significant sweeping on these first two full days of the rally, so fourth is not a bad place considering the guys in front of us we will be chasing. However, Jari Matti Latvala, being sixth on the road, will be the one to watch.”

Of his fourth position in the drivers’ championship and the possibility of finishing higher in the standings, Paddon says: “We will let the championship take care of itself. Of course it would be amazing to finish in the top three, but the focus is on our performance and letting the rally and overall championship result follow that.”


Rally Australia also marks last round of competition for the current spec Hyundai i20 world rally car with Paddon and Hyundai team-mates Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo having been working with the team in recent months to develop the 2017-spec car ready for next year’s competition.


“The New Generation i20 WRC is a car that has brought the team a lot of success in a short space of time,” says Paddon. “So we would like to give it a nice send-off, as I’m sure our team-mates also want to.”


After confirming second place in the WRC manufacturers’ championship at Wales Rally GB with a fourth consecutive podium, Hyundai Motorsport hopes to finish its most competitive season in style with a podium finish in Australia.


While there was no pre-event test for this rally, gravel setup specifications will be well sorted from earlier events. Paddon and Kennard join nine other WRC crews to complete reconnaissance over the 312.98km of special stages on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday morning they get their full speed shakedown runs in their rally car on a dedicated stage before the official start ceremony in the afternoon. The rally action gets underway at 8am Friday (Australian eastern standard time) heading south of Coffs Harbour for 11 stages. Saturday’s route covers the greatest distance with 135.19km of stages, including two runs of the 50.88km Nambucca, one of the longest stages of the season. Sunday’s action is north of Coffs Harbour for four stages with the final run through the popular 6.44km Wedding Bells marking the final stage of the 2016 championship.

Paddon and Hyundai NZ select shootout drivers

HaydenPaddon OtagoRally2016 PhotoGeoffRidder GR42675 LR

Five young drivers have been selected to compete for the inaugural Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship, a programme developed by Kiwi world rally star Hayden Paddon and Hyundai New Zealand.

The collaboration aims to give a young New Zealand rally driver a major step-up with their motorsport career aspirations as well as providing the scholarship winner with the opportunity to drive the Hyundai NZ AP4 i20 rally car run by Paddon Rallysport, consisting two rounds of the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship. The scholarship also includes testing and training with Paddon, plus the potential for an expanded programme in 2018.

From more than 180 applicants, the following five drivers were selected as finalists for the December shootout weekend where they will participate with the co-driver of their choice:

 

 

  • Max Bayley, Hawke’s Bay (20 years old)

  • Sloan Cox, Rotorua (24 years old)

  • Job Quantock, Ashburton (22 years old)

  • Matt Summerfield, Rangiora (24 years old)

  • Dylan Thomson, Waiuku (21 years old)


Paddon says: “We were all blown away by the interest and sheer quality of applications – some really good people missed out this time. It made our job really difficult to narrow it down to five finalists, but it’s a sure sign how much our sport of rallying is growing, and it’s great that Hyundai New Zealand can help us to continue that growth with this scholarship.”

Running near Auckland over the weekend of 9-10 December, the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout includes lessons and assessments on fitness, how to identify and look after sponsors, nutrition, media training, career planning, writing pace notes and car set-up. The finalists also get a day in the forest where they will be writing and driving to their own pace notes in the Hyundai AP4 car.

Paddon says he and fellow judges rally driver Reece Jones, talented teens Pinnacle Programme leader Bernice Mene, Newshub senior sports reporter Shaun Summerfield and former Rally New Zealand chairman Chris Carr aim to not only find the shootout winner but help them to develop throughout the classroom sessions.

“We want all finalists to take as much as they can away from the shootout weekend.”

“We are not looking for the fastest driver – we are looking for someone with that X factor who has the ability to learn and develop into a leading rally driver, both nationally and internationally, while representing the Hyundai brand.”

The Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship was open to drivers aged 16-25 with applicants having contested a minimum of 10 rallies, including four pace-noted rallies.

Six more applicants –Jack Williamson, Max Tregilgas, Michael McLean, Chris McLean, Ari Pettigrew and Jack Hawkeswood – have been invited to participate in the classroom day.

“It’s extremely exciting to see so many young and very talented drivers apply even though this opportunity may be a little too early in their career due to experience and/or age. However, we felt it was a good opportunity to open the door to these seven drivers for the classroom sessions to learn and expand their knowledge to help with their development as rally competitors.”

Bernice Mene says the “Hyundai NZ Young Driver shootout” fits with the principles of the Pinnacle Programme as it is encouraging and enabling talented young people to achieve their goals by exposing them to opportunities to further develop their skills and boost them to the next level.”

“In the short term, the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Scholarship will focus on a New Zealand-based programme with the winner,” says Paddon. “It’s a fantastic chance for them to develop as a driver and all-round competitor, with the potential and goal of winning the 2018 New Zealand Rally Championship title as part of the scholarship. This would be a perfect base to work on to take the next step internationally.”

Paddon says plans are in place to continue this scholarship in the future. “There will be many more opportunities for these young drivers, and others that missed out this time to potentially participate in the shootout in the years ahead.”

“For those that did miss out this time, also keep an eye out for the Paddon Rally Foundation which we will officially launch within the next month. It’s set up to provide financial assistance to many competitors at all levels.”

Paddon adds: “Later this year, we will also be officially launching the Paddon Foundation which is separate to this scholarship, and will assist more the grass roots level of New Zealand rallying, encouraging and keeping more people in the sport.”

The Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship winner will be announced on 11 December.