In his final surge to WRC victory in Argentina, Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon pushed his Hyundai close to 200kph through some of the gravel roads.

This afternoon he's more than happy to turn on the radio and stay within the speed limit as he drives north with co-driver John Kennard for the Rally of Whangarei.

They will not swap roles for the journey north.

"I like to be in charge of the steering wheel, I am not a good passenger," Paddon said.


"I find it quite relaxing staying within the speed limits and it gives you time to think, relax and be in a very comfortable car rather than the loud noisy, bumpy rally car voyages."

Paddon began the last Condor stage in Argentina with a slim margin on reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier but pushed that out to cross the finish on his favourite gravel roads with a 14.3 seconds victory.

"Definitely gravel. In New Zealand we don't have any tarmac rallies and we grow up on gravel roads.

"I enjoyed the gravel in Argentina but it was very, very rough. Here we grow up on smooth, very flowing roads.

"The way you compare is some of the stages in Argentina would be the equivalent of driving up a river bank, that's what they call smooth."

It was certainly one of the most difficult stages in the championship, Paddon said today after flying into Auckland.

"It is a downhill descent for the whole stage, very narrow, there is no room for error. You are up against a rock face and a massive drop and the soft surface becomes very rutted.

"There are a lot of big rocks as well and it is very slow, very twisty and very technical. It is a very tricky stage."