Reigning Production Car World Rally Champion Hayden Paddon will switch to the Super 2000 WRC for next season.
The New Zealander confirmed on Tuesday that he will drive a Skoda Fabia S2000 run by Spanish team ASM Motorsport. Paddon will contest seven WRC rounds in the car, electing to drop the SWRC season opener in Monte Carlo. He starts his campaign in Sweden.
Paddon said: "The SWRC is the pinnacle support championship and is the main feeder class into the WRC. The S2000 cars are also a step up being very similar to a WRC car but without the turbo and aero package. I was lucky to test drive a Skoda S2000 car a couple of months ago and it is a very nice car to drive.
"Our calendar will include Sweden, Portugal, New Zealand, Finland, GB, France and Spain. Our testing program will begin in late January in Spain which where we will also base ourselves for part of the year.
"These are very exciting times for us and, despite the added challenges of learning a different car and stronger competition, our aim will be to win the championship. On the topic of competition, the main bench mark for all of us in the SWRC will be VW's new signing Sebastian Ogier who will be driving a similar Skoda S2000 car in all rounds of the 2012 WRC. While he will undoubtedly be very fast, it will help us lift our game to another level and give us a good target to aim for."