Hayden Paddon aims to leave tough 2017 behind him with big outing at Rally Sweden

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NZN

There'll be no frolicking about in the Scandinavian snow when Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon gets underway at this week's Rally Sweden.

Hayden Paddon

Source: Photosport

There'll just be hard, fast rally driving.

Coming off a tough 2017 World Rally Championship campaign in which he finished eighth, Paddon will start 2018 in the frostiest of Torsby environments.

Snow has tumbled down on the Swedish township ahead of this week's racing, accompanied by sub-zero temperatures, and has made for true winter rally conditions.

The 30-year-old Paddon says he can't wait to get behind the wheel, having not raced since last year's third placing at the Rally Australia.

He did, however, win the domestic Rally New Zealand in November.

Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall completed a 200km driving test on the snow over the weekend, as did Hyundai teammates Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen.

"This means a good ice base to the roads and high snow banks - this all means you can really attack a lot more and generally get away with more, so there will be no holding back," the Geraldine-born Paddon said.

"Driving on the snow is so pure, with the car sliding and dancing from snow bank to snow bank, and it just gives you a lot of pleasure."

Paddon and Marshall have been assigned to seven WRC events in 2018, with his next racing stints not until mid-year in Portugal and Italy.

He'll run 10th on the road in Sweden, starting on Friday.

Paddon said he'd give his all for success in 2018.

"The targets have to be for podiums on each and every rally we do this year, but the competition is so close nowadays that our focus is purely on driving fast and keeping it clean on every single stage," Paddon said.

"There is no room for error."

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