Leading Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon is turning his attention to running his own team at home with the full launch of the Hyundai New Zealand Rally Team's assault on the national championship.

Paddon's AP4 Hyundai will be in all six rounds of this year's New Zealand Rally Championship with youngsters David Holder and Job Quantock each contesting two events. Paddon will be behind the wheel of the other two - Rally Coromandel and Rally New Zealand.

While his time back in New Zealand is limited due to his World Rally Championship with the factory Hyundai team, Paddon gets a lot of enjoyment out of his smaller scale Kiwi project.

"It is exciting. I get just as much kick out of helping run this programme as what I do driving these two rallies," Paddon said.


"Driving at home is what I always look forward to and I have never done Coromandel before and then of course this year's Rally New Zealand will lead into a bigger Rally NZ heading into 2018 hopefully."

This year marks the second season the AP4 spec Hyundai has competed. With other manufacturers entering the championship this year, Paddon thinks their limited experience will give them a bit of an edge.

"It was clear last year there were some issues we had to iron out and we seem to be on top of them so far," he said.

"The whole concept of AP4 has really taken off - it is great for the sport. We are seeing more manufacturers and more drivers and that is what the vision always was."

And Paddon can certainly see this project growing with additional cars now being sought.

"We have the limitation where we only have one car available at the moment but hopefully that will change in the future.

"There won't be a second car in 2017 but in the future definitely yes. We want more than one car.

"Paddon Rallysport is a company and we want to continue growing over many, many years. This is year two and we hope it is around for many more yet."

Meanwhile, with the huge growth of entries, Paddon believes there should be more focus on which manufacturer wins the national championship.

"It has always been about the drivers' championship here in the past but now with so many more manufacturers coming in there is more focus on that.

"In the past it has been a forgotten thing but elsewhere around the world - what we do in the WRC - the No1 priority is the manufacturers' championship. The drivers' championship comes second.

"With the investment of the car makers and manufacturer that should also become the way here."