Motorsport: VINZ goes rallying

By Eric Thompson

Rally team's deal beefs up its racing campaign

Driving the Stadium Cars Evo9, Hayden Paddon raises the dust during February's Spur Road rally-sprint.Picture/ Morgan Rooney
Driving the Stadium Cars Evo9, Hayden Paddon raises the dust during February's Spur Road rally-sprint.Picture/ Morgan Rooney

Former production world rally champion Hayden Paddon is definitely building momentum in an effort to get on the international stage in World Rally Championship.

A few weeks ago Driven revealed that Paddon and co-driver John Kennard had added the Ypres Rally, Belgium, which is part of the European Rally Championship, to their two events in Finland and Germany.

Paddon and his team have now signed with Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (Vinz) as they plan to contest the Australian round of the WRC on September 12 to 15.

Paddon says Vinz will play a prominent role in the team's international and national campaigns this year with the new partnership allowing him and Kennard the opportunity to add a third round to their WRC campaign.

"The Vinz New Zealand World Rally Team partnership is the first taste of motorsport for Vinz," says Paddon. "It's also a partnership that has many synergies around safety. While John and I compete at speed in the sport of rallying, at all times we are conscious of our own safety and the safety of fellow competitors, officials and spectators.

"In a similar vein, Vinz helps general road users ensure their vehicles are safe and legal on the roads."

Auckland-based Vinz general manager Frank Willett says Vinz is delighted to partner Hayden Paddon and the New Zealand World Rally Team.

"The partnership will provide valuable opportunities to further build the Vinz brand throughout New Zealand alongside Hayden's rallying campaigns," says Willett. "Hayden is well known in the sport as an ever-approachable and professional personality."

The new partnership, along with the continued support of Stadium Cars, PlaceMakers and Giltrap Group, has allowed the management team of Hayden Paddon RallySport Global (HPRG) to extend 2013's competitive programme.

"As well as the European Rally Championship's Ypres Rally and the scheduled WRC rounds in Finland and Germany, we are now able to add Rally Australia to our schedule," says HPRG director Peter Swaney. "We do still have some funds to still find, but with some good results we would like to get Hayden and John to further events beyond this in 2013 as well."

The second half of 2013 also has Paddon and the team continuing their New Zealand Championship campaign.

"We currently lead the New Zealand Rally Championship but will miss the next two rounds, Daybreaker and Canterbury, and will look to return to the NZRC field for the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally in early September, which runs the weekend before Rally Australia.

"I am very lucky to have such a great team around me," says Paddon, "and all our guys here will be working hard on our Stadium Cars Evo9 to get it ready for this event while we are competing in Europe."

- NZ Herald

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