It was the perfect start for the new era of the FIA World Rally Championship: four different winners from four manufacturers in the first four races of the calendar. It’s a statistic that any motorsport series could struggle to beat and although it’s unlikely that another manufacturer could become the fifth consecutive winner in Argentina this weekend, another rally winner is a high possibility.
As the World Rally Championship welcomed in a new era to the sport last month, 29-year-old Hayden Paddon was considered by many as being a possible title threat for the 2017 championship. Winning his maiden WRC rally in Argentina last year, in addition to securing another two podiums, the New Zealand driver will continue to race for Hyundai this year with John Kennard remaining his trusted co-driver.
I caught up with Paddon ahead of Rally Sweden later this week to discuss the changes to the sport for the new year, his targets for the season and how the future looks for rallying in New Zealand.