Paddon: Ogier will be the ultimate benchmark
SWRC newcomer keen to take on megastar Frenchman
Production Car world champion Hayden Paddon says the opportunity to measure himself against Sebastien Ogier was one of the key reasons behind his decision to switch to the Super 2000 World Rally Championship in 2012.
Ogier is one of rallying’s hottest properties after he won five rounds of the WRC in 2011. He has signed a long-term deal with Volkswagen Motorsport and, like Paddon, will drive a Skoda Fabia S2000 next season as he continues to build his competition experience while he awaits Volkswagen’s Polo R WRC to be readied for use in 2013.
“Sebastien is one of the fastest drivers in the WRC at present and having the chance to compete with him will be an honour and also a challenge,” said Paddon, who will drive for the Spanish ASM Motorsport team in the SWRC. “It will help us to lift to another level and while he will be hard to beat, he certainly gives us a good target to aim for.”
Ogier has previously stated that his main aim in 2012 will be to continue improving his pace notes on all rounds of the world championship rather than trying to challenge for top 10 finishes against the hordes of World Rally Cars in action. However, he has also conceded he won’t simply be driving to finish events and will attack as necessary, making him ideal benchmark for Paddon.
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