18 Aug 2018

Hayden Paddon wins NZ Rally Championship

6:00 pm on 18 August 2018

New Zealand's WRC star Hayden Paddon has won the Goldrush Rally of Coromandel to claim his fourth New Zealand Rally Championship.

Hayden Paddon

Hayden Paddon Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Paddon and stand-in co-driver Mal Peden had to work hard to overcome a troublesome turbo hose across the day's eight special stages but they did enough to hold off the Subaru of Ben Hunt and Tony Rawstorn to secure the title with one round to spare.

"It is obviously great to wrap it up but it was a pretty difficult day," Paddon said. "To keep blowing the turbo hoses off on three stages so we had to work for it.

"It is good for the team; good for the boys and good for Hyundai."

Hunt continued his strong form this year to take second place - 18.7 seconds behind Paddon's Hyundai i20 AP4+.

Dylan Turner and Malcolm Read finished third in their Audi S1 AP4 in a terrific performance having skipped the previous two rounds.

Australians Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Gelsomino battled electrical problems in their Force Motorsport Mazda 2 AP4. The two-time defending Coromandel champs dropped time throughout the day and eventually finished fifth behind the brother/sister combination of Matt and Nicole Summerfield's Mitsubishi Mirage.

Phil Campbell and Matt Hayward finished a superb sixth in their Ford Fiesta AP4 in just the second NZRC event for the car. They were awarded the Dunlop Drive of the Rally for their performance.

In all nine different manufacturers finished inside the top 10 to highlight how competitive the championship has become.

The 2018 championship concludes at the Raglan Rally of the Coast in October.