Monday, 12 October 2015

Paddon to replace Neuville in Wales

Former World Rally Championship runner up Thierry Neuville has been dropped from the Korean manufacturer's primary team for the upcoming Wales Rally GB and will be replaced by Hayden Paddon.

Neuville has so far endured a difficult season in the WRC, finishing on the podium only twice, the last of which was at June's Rally d'Italia.

Now with second place in the team's championship on the line - the team sits in third, just one point behind Citroen - the decision has been made to relieve the Belgian of any pressure by moving him to their second team for the final round of the season. Meanwhile, New Zealander Paddon will take his place alongside Dani Sordo in the premier Hyundai squad.

Paddon, who has so far started 16 rallies for Hyundai, has out performed Neuville in six of the last eight rounds taking a best finish of second at Rally d'Italia despite leading for much of the second and third day of the event.

"This decision has been reached following a productive meeting with the team in which we both discussed openly our thoughts ahead of the final rounds of the season and planning for 2016," said the 2014 Rallye Deutschland winner. "For me, the decision to move to the #20 car for Wales Rally GB will free me up from any championship pressure and allow me to focus solely on my own driving."

"This will be important as I strive to regain my confidence ahead of 2016. This is the right decision for me and the team at this time, and it is testament to our positive way of working together that we can reach this conclusion calmly and collectively," he added.

Images: @tWorld, Jaanus Ree, Red Bull Content Pool

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