Hayden Paddon will be one of Hyundai’s three nominated drivers for manufacturers’ championship points when it enters four cars at Rally de Portugal.
Paddon is sharing a drive with Dani Sordo in this year’s World Rally Championship due to the arrival of Andreas Mikkelsen at Hyundai, the current leader of the manufacturers’ championship.
A team may nominate three drivers to score manufacturers’ championship points at each rally, with the two highest placed drivers’ points counting towards the tally.
While Hyundai could have chosen to make any of its four drivers ineligible in Portugal, either of its part-timers were the obvious options.
It has chosen to make Paddon eligible for manufacturers’ points, with Sordo competing only for his own drivers’ championship points score.
The Canterbury native is considered a better driver than Sordo on gravel, which is the surface for Rally de Portugal.
In his only previous WRC start of 2018, in Sweden, Paddon won two stages and finished fifth overall.
He is also partaking in five of the six Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship rounds this season in an AP4-specification i20, and has won every stage in each of the first two rounds so far.
The four i20 WRC entries are among 14 World Rally Cars entered for the sixth round of the championship, up from the usual 11 to 12.
Citroen will field a third C3 for Mads Ostberg’s second start of the year, while Yazeed Al Rajhi has entered a 2016-specification Ford Fiesta.
Rally de Portugal takes place on May 17-20.
Entry list: Rally de Portugal: World Rally Cars
|1||M-Sport Ford WRT||Sébastien Ogier||Julien Ingrassia||Ford Fiesta WRC||M|
|2||M-Sport Ford WRT||Elfyn Evans||Daniel Barritt||Ford Fiesta WRC||M|
|3||M-Sport Ford WRT||Teemu Suninen||Mikko Markkula||Ford Fiesta WRC||M|
|4||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Andreas Mikkelsen||Anders Jæger-Synnevaag||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||M|
|5||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Thierry Neuville||Nicolas Gilsoul||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||M|
|6||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hayden Paddon||Sebastian Marshall||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC||M|
|7||Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT||Jari-Matti Latvala||Miikka Anttila||Toyota Yaris WRC||M|
|8||Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT||Ott Tänak||Martin Järveoja||Toyota Yaris WRC||M|
|9||Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT||Esapekka Lappi||Janne Ferm||Toyota Yaris WRC||M|
|10||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Kris Meeke||Paul Nagle||Citroën C3 WRC||M|
|11||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Craig Breen||Scott Martin||Citroën C3 WRC||M|
|12||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Mads Østberg||Torstein Eriksen||Citroën C3 WRC||M|
|16||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Dani Sordo||Carlos del Barrio||Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC|
|21||Yazeed Racing||Arabia Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Michael Orr||Ford Fiesta RS WRC|