Hayden Paddon is banking on a strong finish to the World Rally Championship, boosted by his favoured gravel surface in both Wales and Australia.

Fourth-placed Paddon and co-driver John Kennard say the gravel and forest roads which predominate at this week's Wales Rally GB are similar to New Zealand's.

Conditions in the final round at Rally Australia three weeks later will also be familiar.

A strong performance at both events could potentially lift Hyundai driver Paddon to second overall in the drivers standings behind Frenchman Sebastien Ogier, who has already clinched a third straight world title.


"Traditionally it's always a wet, muddy rally, but this year - being run a little earlier than usual - could be a little different," said Paddon, who has contested the Welsh event five times previously.

"We want to be challenging near the front again. This is a rally I have always enjoyed, but we have never been able to put together a good result here."

The 22-stage rally covers more than 330km in northern and central Wales.

The first day on Friday will be pivotal, with 178km covered.