29 Sep 2017

Paddon remains at Hyundai for 2018

11:19 am on 29 September 2017

The New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon's immediate WRC future with Hyundai has been confirmed despite the manufacturer adding another driver combination for 2018.

Hyundai have signed up Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen for the next two years.

Hayden Paddon and Seb Marshall after finishing second at the Rally of Poland.

Hayden Paddon and Seb Marshall after finishing second at the Rally of Poland. Photo: WRC

Mikkelsen will drive next weekend's Spanish Rally with Paddon sitting it out.

Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jaeger will join Hyundai's existing WRC crews of Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul, Dani Sordo/Marc Martí and Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall - all of whom remain under contract for 2018.

Paddon has struggled on tarmac events and is currently ninth in the standings, while Mikkelsen, who use to drive for Volkswagen, is seen as a better option on mixed surfaces.

Mikkelsen will partner Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo in the Spanish event, but Hyundai says their lineup for the last two rounds in Wales and Australia would differ from Spain, but has not given details.

It is likely Paddon will return, with Sordo missing out.

At the time team principal Michel Nandan acknowledged the decision to make changes was not easy, but necessary in an effort to rekindle its manufacturers' title hopes.

Hayden Paddon at Rally Finland 2017

Hayden Paddon at Rally Finland 2017 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hyundai trails M-Sport World Rally Team by 64 points after poor performances at the most recent rounds in Finland and Germany.

Hyundai is likely to change their lineup for 2019.

Autosport is reporting that Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville are set to be Hyundai's main line-up in 2018 with Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon sharing the third car.