It's a hard road to the top of international motorsport for New Zealand drivers, but things could soon change thanks to a new initiative led by Kiwi professional rally driver Hayden Paddon.
Speaking on Radio Sport yesterday, the 31-year-old rally star discussed the next steps in his career, revealing that he had started work on a New Zealand based motorsport team.
"My life has always been rallying and motorsport so going forward I still want to drive, I still want to win, probably the key difference is I want to go and do it with our own Kiwi team and that's probably the next stage in my career," Paddon said.
"We're putting the building blocks in place now to try and build up to that, it's a very long process, there's a lot of financial investment, there's a lot of people, a lot of infrastructure you have to build."
"I'd like to think within 5-10 years we can have a Kiwi team compete at a world championship motorsport level somewhere in the world."
Paddon, who confirmed yesterday that he will compete in the new Global Rallycross Europe series this year after losing his seat in the World Rally Championship, believed a New Zealand team had the potential to do well internationally.
Keen to collaborate with Kiwi design gurus from the likes of Emirates Team New Zealand, Paddon said there was plenty working in our favour.
"I think a motorsport project really utilises the whole Kiwi ingenuity and the Kiwi attitude and I think that's what could make our program that successful," he said.
"Logistically it's hard when your from this part of the world but I think everything else is actually stacked in our favour so we need to utilise all the good people and expertise and knowledge that we have in this part of the world.
"We're just setting up a new base, very much starting from square one ... so probably over the next few months it will become a bit clearer of how that's looking but certainly a working progress at the moment."
Paddon will race a 410kW/740Nm i30 Pantera X6 in the series-topping Global Rallycross Europe Titans class when the season starts in June.
GRC Europe will run over six weekends, comprising five doubleheaders and a season finale at Estering in Germany, with other events in France, UK, Portugal, Australia and Hungary.