“Loyalty means a lot to me,” Paddon told DirtFish. “It means a lot here [in New Zealand]. I had a lot of offers to ride other things, but I turned them down.”

The exception was in 2019, when he was due to drive a Ford Fiesta RS WRC at Rally Finland – only to inevitably jump (watch the video, it’s really inevitable…) to knock the Fiesta off the road during testing. He did drive a Fiesta R5 in the Rally of Great Britain that year – these trips were made possible through an arrangement with Hyundai New Zealand, a company independent of Hyundai Motor Corporation.

“We have a great partner with Hyundai New Zealand,” Paddon added. “We work well together and the respect and loyalty between us is completely mutual.”

After leading the Hyundai Motorsport team at the start of 2016 – a purple streak that included a clean sweep of Sébastien Ogier at El Condor to win Rally Argentina – Paddan was dropped in favor of Sébastien Loeb two years later.