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HAYDEN PADDON TO SIT OUT SPAIN IN FAVOUR OF ANDREAS MIKKELSEN

Hayden Paddon to sit out the next rally in Spain - Photo: LAT

Hayden Paddon to sit out the next rally in Spain – Photo: LAT

After a tough WRC season so far, Kiwi rally driver, Hayden Paddon will sit out of the next event in Spain.

The Hyundai WRC team have brought in extra help as they aim to secure the manufacturers title, in which M-Sport currently leads. Enlisting the services of 2016 Rally Australia winner Andreas Mikkelsen for the remaining three rounds of the WRC season.

Hyundai will continue to run three cars in Spain with Mikkelsen joining Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo at the next event.

“Reaching this decision was not easy, but we felt it was necessary to reaffirm ourselves in the championship battle,” said Hyundai’s Team Principal Michel Nandan.

“Discussions with Andreas have been ongoing since he was out of a drive but we had nothing to offer him, as our line-up was fixed. However, with us losing ground, we decided to re-evaluate the situation.

“We had an open discussion with all three of our crews, and informed them of our decision to make this adjustment. The precise line-up for Spain has been made, but we will confirm our crews for Wales and Australia in due course. For now, though, we welcome Andreas and Anders into Hyundai Motorsport and look forward to getting our 2017 championship back on track from Spain onwards.”

Andreas Mikkelsen recruited by Hyundai for the remainder of the year - Photo: LAT

Andreas Mikkelsen recruited by Hyundai for the remainder of the year – Photo: LAT

Mikkelsen who was left without a drive when Volkswagen abandoned their WRC program at the last minute, has spent the season so far jumping between teams. He started the season with Skoda in a WRC2 car before completing a couple of rallies for Citroen, scoring a podium for the French manufacturer in Germany.

“I am delighted to be joining Hyundai Motorsport and to be back in the WRC for the next three rallies.” said Mikkelsen

“It is a great team with some very talented people, and the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC has proven itself to be a winning car on every surface.”

“I had the chance to test on gravel earlier this year. I had a really positive feeling, which I am sure we will find again in these last three events of the season.”

“My aim is to do all I can to help the team in the Manufacturers’ Championship. I have a great belief in them and the car, so I am super excited. Anders and I are ready for this and we hope it will be the start of something more long-term.”

Paddon remains contracted to Hyundai for the remainder of the year and is expected to replace Sordo for the final two rounds of the season. Although Hyundai won’t confirm their driver line-up until closer to those events.

Hayden Paddon in action at Rally Poland - Photo: LAT

Hayden Paddon in action at Rally Poland – Photo: LAT

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