9 May 2011

Paddon wins rally NZ

5:48 am on 9 May 2011

The South Canterbury driver Hayden Paddon has become the first New Zealander to win the Rally of New Zealand for 30 years by finishing almost 2 and a half minutes ahead of Richard Mason of Masterton.

Paddon, in a Subaru, dominated the Waikato event from the outset, winning six of eight of the first day's stages and setting a new stage record and winning two more stages on the final day.

The event, while not a World Rally Championship event, attracted a very strong field of competitors registered for the New Zealand Rally Championship battling for the Rally New Zealand trophy on both days on roads through the Franklin, North Waikato and Raglan districts.

Paddon was the favourite to win this weekend's rally and the two-time New Zealand rally champion drove with both composure and pace from start to finish.