Paddon and Hyundai NZ launch young driver scholarship

Hyundai Press Release Paddon HNZ scholorship announced 05102016 1

New Zealand’s world rally star Hayden Paddon has joined forces with Hyundai New Zealand to give a young Kiwi rally driver a major step-up with their rally career aspirations.

Paddon and Hyundai New Zealand have collaborated to create the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship with an impressive prize for the winner – the opportunity to drive the Hyundai NZ AP4 i20 rally car in two rounds of the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship being operated and run by Paddon Rallysport, testing and training with Paddon, plus the potential for an expanded programme in 2018.

Paddon, who is New Zealand’s most successful rally driver and currently holds fourth in the FIA World Rally Championship’s drivers’ standings, says he is passionate and driven to help the growth of New Zealand rallying.

“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,” Paddon says.

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.

Andy Sinclair explains, "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."

Applications are now open and can be found at Follow the instructions online and submit your application and details as prompted. Applications close 19 October 2016.

Open to drivers aged 16-25, applicants for the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Shootout and Scholarship need to have contested a minimum of 10 rallies, including four pace-noted rallies. Paddon and nominated personnel from Hyundai New Zealand will choose five finalists who, with their co-drivers, will attend a two-day shootout course in Auckland in December.

The course offers the finalists and their co-drivers a day learning from Paddon’s experience getting to the top of world rallying with theory and advice on fitness, sponsorship, media, car set-up/driving and pace notes. The second day will be in the forest, where finalists will drive the Hyundai NZ i20 AP4 rally car to each set a benchmark time, as well as practical experience writing pace notes with Paddon providing advice in the car. A judging panel of five, including Paddon, will assess each driver/co-driver on all aspects of their performance and participation throughout the shootout.

“It’s not just about the fastest driver,” says Paddon. “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.

Paddon adds: “To have Hyundai New Zealand as a key partner in this project allows us to provide a support structure and platform to help develop young talent. We haven’t had a scholarship of this magnitude in New Zealand rallying for some years. I was lucky to receive support through a similar scheme – the Rally New Zealand Rising Stars Scholarship – six years ago which helped me to give a leg up in the Production World Rally Championship. We see this as an opportunity to do the same thing for another young Kiwi driver.

“In the short term, the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Scholarship will focus on a New Zealand-based programme with the winner. 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 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 into the sport.”

Applications for the Hyundai NZ Young Driver Scholarship are now open!

Hyundai Press Release - Hyundai donation keeps St John Ambulance motoring

Murray Holt Andy Sinclair

A relationship with Hyundai New Zealand stretching back 11 years continues to help the St John Ambulance support New Zealanders in their time of need.

Hyundai New Zealand handed over its most recent vehicle, a new Hyundai Tucson that has been donated to St John to be used in a regional operational response role.

Hyundai New Zealand has supplied St John with more than 300 vehicles for operational and community programme duties since 2005. In addition to its commercial relationship Hyundai New Zealand has often loaned and donated vehicles to boost the organisation’s capability.

Vehicles supplied include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Tucson and ix35 SUVs; i30 and i40 cars and iLoad vans. They are used in first-response operational duties, regional management use, education, First Aid training and service delivery. Since 2005 St John’s Hyundai vehicles have travelled more than 34 million kilometres, an average of 115,000 km per vehicle.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says the relationship is a way for Hyundai New Zealand to ‘give back’ to the communities of New Zealand. “Our ongoing support of the Order of St John is important to both organisations and we are very proud to help St John’s dedicated staff and volunteers to assist and support New Zealanders, said Mr Sinclair.

Mr Sinclair presented the keys of the Tucson to St John Head of Clinical Operations Support Murray Holt.

“Hyundai have been great to deal with, providing reliable vehicles that meet our operational needs. We have appreciated Hyundai’s support which has contributed to a successful partnership and has helped us deliver care to New Zealand communities,” said Mr Holt.

Hyundai’s dealer network and staff are keen supporters of the relationship and Mr Sinclair says the two organisations will look for additional ways to work together in future.

Hyundai launches Android Auto™ for leading models

Hyundai Android Auto 02

Three key Hyundai models will now feature the innovative Android Auto™ technology that seamlessly links a user’s Android-based (operating system 5.0 “Lollipop” and later versions) smartphone with the vehicle’s on board sound and communications systems.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says ‘smart motoring’ using the driver’s existing phone operating system is the next wave of innovation on New Zealand roads and can now be enjoyed by owners of the i30 Series II, Tucson and the recently launched Elantra.

Android’s technology is now offered alongside Apple’s CarPlay™, meaning most smart phone users can safely access information and entertainment portals in any of these models. Hyundai was among the first to confirm Apple’s CarPlay™ system for New Zealand when it launched the Tucson in late 2015.

“Whether the motorist prefers Apple or Android, the systems are all about ease of use and more importantly safety. All you need is a compatible smart phone, a USB cable and your Elantra, i30** or Tucson**. The rest is easy,” he said.

Adding Android Auto capability to the existing provision of an interface for Apple CarPlay™ means all smart phone users* can control audio system sources and levels, make and receive phone calls using SIRI voice commands (for iOS), compose and play back text messages and a form of navigation software as well, like Google Maps for Android Auto™ and Apple Maps for Apple CarPlay™. The system also gives direct access to some of the ‘apps’ on the user’s phone. These apps include Google Maps, Spotify, iHeart Radio and Google Play Music.

“This means increased enjoyment and convenience for our owners, and it also means enhanced safety. This is really the next step in intuitive vehicle communications,” said Mr Sinclair.

Paddon and Kennard secure fifth at WRC Germany

Hayden Paddon John Kennard Sunday finish WRC Germany by Timo Anis LR

Hayden Paddon, with co-driver John Kennard, secured fifth place in ADAC Rallye Deutschland to achieve his pre-event goal, but says there’s a lot more to come.

“Obviously to be in the top five is what our goal was going into the rally and it’s a good bank of points, but probably we didn’t achieve it in the way that we wanted to,” said Paddon following the final three of what was meant to be four stages on Sunday (CEST) after organisers had to cancel the penultimate stage due to spectators not staying in the designated areas.

Paddon and Kennard completed Sunday’s special stages with three top six times to secure their third fifth place finish of the 2016 FIA World Championship. Paddon said the stages were generally okay as he tried to work on driving techniques to learn for the upcoming tarmac events in Corsica and Spain.

“Of course we know we have a lot to improve on tarmac especially when the conditions are wet and a bit more changeable [like they have been this weekend in Germany]. This is a time thing; we just need more time on the surface to build up the confidence.

“I think come Corsica, we can be much stronger than what we are here. We know the key areas where we struggled here and these types of stages we don’t get in Corsica.

“We’ve got a lot to look forward to and we’re going to work really hard. I think we can build on this and mount a much stronger challenge up the front.”

Paddon’s fifth place finish moves him into third in the WRC drivers’ championship on 94 points, equal with team-mate Thierry Neuville. Co-driver John Kennard is in the same position on the WRC co-drivers’ championship table, equal with Neuville’s co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul.

“To be back third [equal] in the championship is certainly a good place. We’d like to try and hang on to that for the rest of the year, but it’s going to be a big fight between about four of us, so it’s going to be an exciting last 3-4 rallies of the season.”

With Rally China, which should have been an early September event, cancelled due to flood damage of the rally route, the WRC takes an unexpected break until the Tour de Corse, aka the ‘rally of 10,000 corners’ on the French island of Corsica. Paddon and Kennard finished fifth there on debut in 2015.

Paddon on podium in Poland with Hyundai

Hayden Paddon John Kennard Sunday podium WRC Poland by McKlein Images 2

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard have secured third place at Rally Poland in their new generation Hyundai i20 World Rally Car.

Third place in Poland represents the third podium finish in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship for the New Zealanders who finished second in Sweden and won outright in Argentina. The result moves Paddon into third place in the WRC drivers’ championship and strengthens Hyundai Motorsport’s second place in the manufacturers’ standings.

“It obviously got pretty close there at the end,” Paddon added referring to Hyundai Motorsport team-mate Thierry Neuville finishing a mere 0.8 seconds behind in fourth. “Our objective today was to secure third position rather than push for second, so we wanted to be relaxed. I think we probably eased off too much. Third is a great result, irrespective of how close it was - just 0.8 seconds!”

“We’re really happy to come home with a podium,” said Paddon who finished just 2.3 seconds behind Ott Tanak.

The seventh WRC round of the year concluded with a wet and slippery morning of action on Sunday, in contrast to the warm, sunny summer conditions of the previous three days.

“They were very, very tricky conditions and it was very hard to judge your speed,” Paddon said, having set the fifth quickest time in all four Sunday stages. “The rain made the stages very slippery and overall today was tricky, having to try and control the position, but in the end we got good points and got the result.

“That’s our first third place and it takes a huge amount of weight off my shoulders after what’s happened recently. The result gives us really good confidence moving forward and I’m really happy to get things back on track.”

“Huge thanks to the team and congratulations to everyone on a job well done. It’s been a good three days of rallying. We’re really looking to Finland now, a rally that suits us more and a rally that we enjoy.”

Paddon’s third place gives Hyundai Motorsport its second-ever Rally Poland podium, following a top-three for Neuville back in 2014. The new generation i20 WRC showed its pace with four stage wins over the weekend. The car has now taken two victories, one second and two third places in seven rallies.

Andy Sinclair, General Manager of Hyundai New Zealand, congratulated Paddon and Kennard for another WRC success. “It’s been an up and down time for our star Kiwi rally drivers, from a history-making victory to the challenges of not finishing, so it’s fantastic to see Hayden and John put together another comprehensive performance to stand on the podium in Poland,” said Sinclair. “We’re joining the hundreds of thousands of Kiwi sports fans who back Hayden and John in saying well done on a great job! The final day of Rally Poland was intense and we’re delighted they could consolidate their fine drive by securing third place overall.”

Paddon and Kennard return to world-class rally competition later this month with the 28-31 July running of Rally Finland, one of Paddon’s favourite rallies due to its incredibly high speeds and similarity to the roads traditionally used for Rally New Zealand.

2016 FIA World Rally Championship, round 7, Rally Poland

Overall Final Classification

1.          A. Mikkelsen / A. Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 2:37:34.4

2.          O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +26.2

3.       H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +28.5

4.          T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +29.3

5.          J. M. Latvala / M. Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +33.8

6.          S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +40.3

7.          C. Breen / S. Martin (Citroën DS3 WRC) +2:01.4

8.          M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:04.6

9.          E. Camilli / B. Veillas (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:23.1

10.        T. Suninen / M. Markkula (Škoda Fabia R5) +5:53.3


2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings

S. Ogier 143 points / A. Mikkelsen 92 / H. Paddon 72 / J. M. Latvala 68 / D. Sordo 68 / M. Østberg 62 / T. Neuville 61 / O. Tanak 52  / K. Meeke 26 / E. Camilli  24 / H. Solberg 14 / M. Prokop 12 / S. Lefebvre 10 / C. Breen 10 / T. Suninen 8 / E. Evans 6 / M. Ligato 6 / L. Bertelli 4 / P. Tidemand / E. Lappi 2 / N. Fuchs 2 / K. Abbring 2 / A. Kremer 1 / V. Gorban 1 / J. Kopecky 1


2016 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings

Volkswagen Motorsport 196 points / Hyundai Motorsport 135 / M-Sport World Rally Team 100  / Volkswagen Motorsport II 99 / Hyundai Motorsport N 78 / DMACK World Rally Team 58 / Jipocar Czech National Team 18 / Yazeed Racing 6