Kiwi rally star concentrating on driving well rather than aiming for win or podium on favoured gravel surface.

Kiwi rally ace Hayden Paddon is hoping to save his best for last at the season finale in Australia this week but he doesn't have a target in mind.

The factory Hyundai driver is fourth in the championship and could easily move into the top three if results go his way on fast, gravel stages he enjoys driving on.

But instead of aiming for a rally win or a podium finish, Paddon says he just wants to concentrate on driving well and will be satisfied with whatever the outcome might be.

"It is key not to focus on the result for this rally," Paddon said.


"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves here last year and we didn't perform to the level we wanted.

"Going into this rally we have really focused on the preparation for the past two weeks and then we will try to relax and focus on perfect driving now that we are here," Paddon said.

"If we can put all of that together then I think the result will take care of itself and if we get a good result in the rally it will help us get into the top three in the championship."

Paddon has previously spoken about not caring about a finish in the top three of the standings but he admits that it would be a good reward for a strong season in which he got a breakthrough win in Argentina in April.

"It would be really nice - if you had said to me that at the start of the year I could possibly have a top three in the championship I probably would have laughed at you," Paddon said.

"It has been a reasonably successful year.

"The win earlier in the year maybe made the rest of the year look a little flatter but, in hindsight, in every rally we have made progress compared to last year.

"This is still only our second full year in WRC so we are still tracking to our plan. We just want to continue that progression again this weekend and build a bit of momentum going into 2017."

The thick gravel on the northern New South Wales roads will clearly have an impact on the cars that are first on the road.

World champion Sebastien Ogier will suffer most but Paddon thinks he will get hurt a little as well.

"The roads are looking good but a lot of gravel this year, which will obviously affect us on the first pass with the sweeping.

"You do have to be quite patient - come the rally there is simply nothing you can do about it. With every car that passes over the road it is going to get faster.

"Fourth on the road is not a bad place to be but we obviously have some fast guys behind us as well. If we can stay in touch on the first pass and be patient and then on the second pass have a big attack will be the plan."

The weekend's season finale also serves as the final event for four-time manufacturer world champions Volkswagen, who will exit the sport ahead of the 2017 season.

Paddon said losing the German outfit is a blow for the sport but he can see some upside as well.

"It was certainly a bit of a shock," he said.

"It is a bit sad. They have been a dominant force in the WRC for the last four or five years and played a big role in the promotion of the sport.

"You have to look at the positives and in that respect you will find next year lots of fast drivers in different cars in different teams, which will promote lots more competition and different winners."