Hayden Paddon ready to fight for WRC future at Rally Finland

Having been thrown a lifeline by Ford ahead of the Rally Finland next month, Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon is ready for the fight of his life to keep his place in the WRC.

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Dumped by Hyundai, Paddon will drive for Ford in Finland to prove he belongs in WRC. Source: 1 NEWS

Axed by Hyundai after five years with the team, Paddon has been thrown a lifeline by Ford ahead of the Finland leg of the WRC, something that had to be signed off by his Hyundai New Zealand - to who he's still contracted.

Speaking to 1 NEWS, Paddon opened up about securing his current situation, fully aware that his WRC career could be on the line with his Finland performance.

"We'd been trying to work with Hyundai Motorsport and get another opportunity this year," Paddon began.

"We've been in regular sort of dialogue with them, trying to look for those opportunities, and unfortunately nothing came to fruition.

"When the news came through a week or so ago that they'd brought another driver into that seat that we were hoping to get for Finland, it kind of caught us a bit blindsided.

"[It] lit the fire inside to say if we keep sitting around, we're going to end up with nothing.

"WRC's still where the heart is. I still feel like I've got unfinished business there, I feel like I'm in a good place as well.

Having been given what could be one last chance to drive in the WRC, Paddon is looking for a back-to-the-wall performance to how his wares to other teams, and to himself.

Source: 1 NEWS

"I want that opportunity to go back there and prove that that's where we belong," he continued.

"It was either accept that decision, sit around and then that was probably the end of WRC forever, or go [and] chase this opportunity and try and create something, try and give it one more shot.

"I still believe in myself, we're not going over there just for fun. We're not going there to make up the numbers.

"We're going over there to try and finish off what we feel like we started. If we left it as it was with our last rally after Rally Australia, we'd regret it for the rest of my life that we didn't give it a last-ditch attempt.

"This is going to be an all or nothing attempt to get back there. If we don't do this, we'll never be back in WRC. It's literally this, or sit at home watching it."

The WRC's Rally Finland runs from August 1 through to August 4.