Hayden Paddon's 'incredible' World Rally Championship win

Hyundai Motorsports driver Hayden Paddon, right, and co-driver John Kennard, both from New Zealand, celebrate in the podium. Photo / AP.
Hyundai Motorsports driver Hayden Paddon, right, and co-driver John Kennard, both from New Zealand, celebrate in the podium. Photo / AP.

Hayden Paddon has become the first New Zealand driver to win a round of the World Rally Championship.

Paddon won Rally Argentina, finishing 14.3 seconds clear of reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard also won the rally's power stage, earning three bonus points.

The Kiwi champ now sits second overall in the WRC drivers' championship, behind Ogier.

"No words, absolutely no words," Paddon said in his victory interview.

"I gave that stage absolutely everything, I can't describe it. It's a huge thing for everyone back home in New Zealand that stayed up watching.

"Huge thanks too to someone back in Norway, Ollie. We've been focusing on this stage for three weeks now and I never thought it would pay off but... I just can't believe it."


In the 40-year history of the World Rally Championship a total of 546 rounds have been held prior to Argentina. New Zealand joins a select group by becoming only the 17th country to have a WRC round winner.

Paddon took to Twitter to share his delight, calling the win an "incredible feeling" and thanking his fans and Hyundai team.


Ogier managed to close the gap with Paddon from a 29.8-second lead on Sunday, but wasn't fast enough to take out victory.

A day earlier, the Kiwi took advantage of a crash by Finnish rival Jari-Matti Latvala in the last stages of day three to lead the event.

Rally Argentina is the fourth round of this year's championship.


Results from the final round of the Rally of Argentina:

1. Hayden Paddon (New Zealand) Hyundai 3:40:52.900
2. Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen +00:14.300
3. Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen 01:05.200
4. Daniel Sordo (Spain) Hyundai 01:17.100
5. Mads Ostberg (Norway) Ford 04:56.700

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