Hayden Paddon and John Kennard secured their fifth outright victory in the Rally of Otago to create the perfect debut for their brand-new New Zealand-built Hyundai i20 rally car.
New Zealand's only driver/co-driver combination to compete in the World Rally Championship, Paddon and Kennard are home between international events to launch the first-ever New Zealand-developed Hyundai rally car which is part of a new partnership with Hyundai New Zealand.
Paddon and Kennard, from Geraldine and Blenheim respectively, blitzed the New Zealand Rally Championship field to win the two-day 40th anniversary Otago Rally by 9 minutes, 22.1 seconds from defending NZRC champion Ben Hunt and third-placed David Holder who competes in Paddon's former championship-winning car.
"It was pretty much the perfect debut for the new Hyundai," said Paddon. "If anything, it probably exceeded my expectations. The base of the car is very good. Our team worked very long hours coming up to the rally getting the car ready, and even right up to shakedown we were having problems so they were able to get on top on those right before the start of the rally which was great."
Head deeper into the article for some awesome video.
On the weekend of 19-20 March, Hyundai New Zealand are holding their second Hyundai Power Off / Family On Weekend. The team at Bowater Hyundai are fully behind this and want you to be as well. We're challenging Kiwi families around the region to switch off their electronic devices to spend quality time together.
Last year, 17,623 Kiwi families disconnected their laptops, gaming consoles, tablets and phones to connect with each other across the land, pledging 650,000 hours of Family Time. This year Hyundai New Zealand are aiming for 25,000 families and 1,000,000 hours. Imagine that. 1 million hours of collective family time. You can help us get there!
Click the button to commit to hitting the ‘Off’ switch with us. Do it now and you'll be in to win your share of $10,000 fuel! If you want to get either Nelson College or Nelson College for Girls in the mix to win $500 worth of sports equipment hold off hitting this button and hit the other one below instead!
Sign up and come by and see Lana and she will give you a cute little badge, so you can let everyone else know that you value #familytime in your family!
Top Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has made history with his co-driver John Kennard by finishing in second place in Rally Sweden on Sunday (European time).
Paddon is the first non-European driver to finish on the podium on the snow rally which is traditionally dominated by Scandinavian drivers and is now one of only seven non-Scandinavian drivers to have secured a second place finish at this World Rally Championship event.
After a steady Friday morning in their debut event in the New Generation Hyundai i20 WRC car, the New Zealanders leapt into podium contention with two more outright WRC stage wins during Friday afternoon’s stages (bringing their WRC stage win tally to ten). The Kiwis were second behind rally leader and three-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier, but just 15 seconds separated Paddon in second and Andreas Mikkelsen in sixth, setting up a closely-fought five-way battle as snow fell and roads froze overnight to create the more familiar icy conditions of the Swedish rally.
It is not everyday that you get the chance to set sail on New Zealand's most famous tall ship.
This is exactly what the team from Bowater Hyundai, and 85 of their invited guests, got to do on a stunning summers morning in Tasman Bay.
Bowater Hyundai are very proud to be actively supporting the youth of our region each year with a scholarship that helps fund the cost of the berth onboard the training ship the Spirit of New Zealand. Hyundai New Zealand are major sponsors of the Spirit of Adventure Trust so all in all this day was a match made in heaven.
We boarded the ship from the main public wharf alongside Guytons opposite the apartments and were welcomed by Gerard from the Spirit of New Zealand and Chris Bowater the CEO of Bowater Hyundai.
Once onboard we headed out of the harbour and into the bay. The sun was shining, the water calm and the breeze brisk, so it was time to unlease the sails and get all hands on deck for some serious hauling of ropes!
Click here to go to the Spirit of New Zealand section of our website to see the full report of the day, along with heaps of photos.