Paddon’s weekend of “s**** and giggles”

This year's European and New Zealand Rally champion is driving something very different today and Saturday

Hayden Paddon

Hayden Paddon’s thinking is as clear as it is simple. Why is he making his debut in a V8 Stock Car in Rotorua this week?

The Kiwi grins.

“S**** and giggles,” he said. “It’ll be a lot of fun. I don’t know too much about the cars, other than that they’re V8, fairly powerful and not too similar to a rally car!”

Paddon will join other Kiwi motorsport stars like Richie Stanaway, Greg Murphy and Aaron Slight for the Valvoline Superstock Charity Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Paddon admits he has limited knowledge of stockcar racing – or speedway as it’s known in New Zealand – but he does know it’s a contact sport.

“Yeah,” he said, “that could be interesting. We’ve got a bit of a gentlemans’ agreement about that… we’re there to put on a show and that’s the main thing. Then again, I think we know that rubbin’ is racing!

“I don’t think anybody has driven one of those things yet – we’ll all be diving in at the same time. It’s fair to say it’s a bit more of a traditional seating position, maybe similar to some of the older rally cars around. It’s going to be a lot of fun, especially with the walls and cars around us to lean on!

“It’s a Valvoline event and they’re a partner of ours on the rally team, but at the same time it’s good to do it for the awesome Ronald McDonald House and Starship Children’s Hospital charities.”

The event is organized by Tiger Woods’ former golf caddy Steve Williams.

Words:David Evans