Hayden Paddon splits with long-time co-driver John Kennard

  • 14/03/2017

History-making Kiwi rally co-driver John Kennard will step down from his role as Hayden Paddon’s co-driver in the World Rally Championship after July’s Rally Finland.

The pair have been working together for almost 12 years, a relationship which began back on the domestic scene and has risen to the pinnacle of world rallying.

"After 12 years as Hayden’s co-driver, it will be hard to lever myself out of that Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC seat for the last time," Kennard said in a statement.

"But our deal has always been that I help Hayden in the most effective way possible and to have been his co-driver for so long, has been incredibly fulfilling and rewarding."

Paddon paid tribute to his long-time colleague, revealing he'd still be involved with the team in an advisory role.

"We have achieved so much together and it has been quite a journey of highs and lows," said Paddon.

"It’s certainly sad to end the partnership, but we have been discussing over the last couple of years when was the best for both of us to make the transition with an eye towards the future.

"I can’t thank John enough for everything he’s contributed in these 12 years, but this is not the end. He will stay involved, helping me behind the scenes and, as he has played an important part in the journey so far, it’s only natural that he remains a part of it."

An announcement on Kennard's replacement is expected to be made later in the week as they prepare for Rally Finland.