Rotorua driver Sloan Cox won the Ashley Forest Rallysprint in his Mitsubishi EVO 8.

Cox set a winning time of 55.3s to beat three-time defending champion and local driver Matt Summerfield by over a second.

"It's great to get the win," said Cox. "It's been on my 'to-do' list this year so great to tick that one off."

World Rally Championship star Hayden Paddon was forced out of the event with engine trouble in his Hyundai despite demonstrating a clear speed advantage. The 30-year-old set the fastest time through Saturday's four qualifying runs and was targeting a sub 54 sec time before engine problems in his modified i20 AP4+ car ended his run.

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Paddon will miss Rally Waikato - the next event on the New Zealand Rally Championship calendar next month but will return to the domestic scene for Rally New Zealand in November.