Motorsport: Paddon claims NZ rally win

New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon. Photo / Sarah Ivey
New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Hayden Paddon has led a Subaru clean sweep of the podium in the second round of the national rally championship in the Waikato.

The Geraldine driver was never headed over the two days of the Rally of New Zealand event, finishing 2-1/2 minutes in front of Masterton's Richard Mason, with Emma Gilmour, of Dunedin, third.

With co-driver John Kennard, Paddon was in a class of his own, finishing yesterday's stages 2min 17sec in front of Mason.

Today, which included two runs through the infamous Whaanga Coast stage near Raglan, Paddon took a more measured approach, just doing enough to take maximum points for the day.

"I've never handled these stages that well in the past and Richard pushed us harder today," said Paddon, the national champion in 2008 and 2009.

Paddon's victory extended his lead in the championship to 70 points over Mason, but he will be absent from the next round of the series at Masterton in three weeks because it clashes with his next outing in the world rally production car championship in Argentina.

Mason was happier with his performance today.

"We made some changes to the car overnight and I think we've stepped ahead of the others in the national series. We haven't focused too much on Hayden this weekend."

Gilmour had a steady drive to third, while Palmerston North veteran Brian Green, who has been competing nationally for 40 years, was fourth overall.

- NZPA

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