Hayden Paddon and John Kennard will take to the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC at next month’s Neste Rally Finland. Making a welcome return to the FIA World Rally Championship, the New Zealanders will pilot a third M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Fiesta and will be eligible to score manufacturer points for the Cumbrian squad.
Paddon made his first appearance behind the wheel of a world rally car when contesting Rally RACC Catalunya with the Ford Fiesta RS WRC in 2013, and went on to become one of the sport’s most popular and celebrated drivers.
A regular on the world stage, he secured his first podium in 2015 and a maiden victory soon followed with an unforgettable performance at the 2016 edition of Rally Argentina.
Proficient on all surfaces, the Kiwi has eight top-three finishes to his name and will be looking to deliver another strong performance when he returns to the Fiesta for his 80th appearance on the world stage.
Thanks to his backers in New Zealand, Paddon will become the 14th driver to take to the wheel of the top-specification Fiesta at rallying’s highest level – the car which has delivered five FIA World Rally Championships, nine victories and 31 podiums over the past two and a half years.
This will also be Paddon’s tenth appearance at the Finnish fixture, and he and Kennard will complete a one-day test in preparation – familiarising themselves with the award-winning Fiesta and reacquainting themselves with the M-Sport family.