New Zealand's world championship-winning rally driver Hayden Paddon heads to the Rally of Portugal with a single goal - to win the Super 2000 world rally championship category.

Paddon is fired up for success this weekend in Portugal after recently winning and placing second in two Italian rallies he described as "low key, but a lot of fun".

The Portugal event - based in the city of Faro on Portugal's south coast - marks Paddon's second event in this year's Super 2000 category, after winning the production WRC last season.

"This year is not only about winning the championship, it's also about showcasing our speed."


The 24-year-old said he was counting on his experience in Portugal last year, where he won the production category with a margin of 7.39.03, the largest in history.

"I enjoy Rally Portugal and with two-thirds of the stages being the same, we have some good experience of the event from last year."

Paddon said the rally has a completely new route for day one.

To prepare for the rally, Paddon spent the early part of the week doing reconnaissance of the whole route in a regular road car, before completing one full speed test in a rally car yesterday.

Following Rally Portugal, Paddon will return to New Zealand to prepare for the Rally of New Zealand in June.