All of us here at Bowater Hyundai are right behind Hayden Paddon on his quest to become a WRC World Champ. When we met him in 2015 for our event at Pro Karts we were collectively so impressed by his entire way of looking at things, so are not surprised to see him making such huge strides in a such a competitive motorsport.
Here is his report on his historic win, in his own words.
Well I'm sure you are all well aware of the outcome of Rally Argentina, a weekend that I will forever remember! But it doesn't only stand out as it was our first WRC victory, but also because of the fashion of how we won the rally - going to head to head with triple world champion, Sébastien Ogier. It was what I would sum up as a perfect weekend from start to finish – winning Shakedown, winning 5 stages, winning the power stage and of course the outright event by 14 seconds.
Going into the weekend, we were playing down our chances, as the traditionally rough roads and challenging conditions have not been a favorite in the past. However after the pre-event recce, it became clear that 75% of the new stages this year were a lot faster than normal, and with Sunday as an exception, the stages were also smoother.
Adding to this, Shakedown went very well. As we did not test prior to this event (our team mates both did testing in Europe between Mexico and Argentina which we opted to miss in turn for more testing for the European events) – we used the first run to run the same setup as we finished Mexico as a base. After a return to service, we bolted on the new suspension, which had different settings and immediately we went fastest on the second and third runs – the car was feeling and working better.
But even after all this, we remained grounded for the weekend ahead, with the same goal in mind – to have a clean rally and a top 5.
Hyundai New Zealand is celebrating Hayden Paddon’s historic nine minute victory at Rally Otago with the announcement of a new Special Edition of its award-winning Santa Fe SUV. Bowater Hyundai has one in the showroom, available now.
Paddon, New Zealand’s most successful rally driver, partnered with his regular navigator John Kennard and drove a new Hyundai New Zealand built i20 rally car to win Rally Otago, giving the AP4 version of the i20 its maiden victory on debut.
Hyundai New Zealand General Manager, Andy Sinclair, said the company had begun planning the Hayden Paddon Special Edition Santa Fe – HP Edition for short – when Paddon re-signed with Hyundai New Zealand as well as with the factory rally team for the coming three seasons in October 2015.
“The Santa Fe Series II was going out to showrooms at the time, and knowing how deep the passion for our SUVs runs with Kiwi motorists, it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion with a Special Edition version. Then when the i20 AP4 project came together and Hayden won Otago by such a huge margin, it made the Santa Fe even more significant,” he said.
Hayden Paddon says there are few better ways to acknowledge the exciting relationship between Hyundai New Zealand and himself.
“The new Santa Fe is an awesome SUV that really suits the Kiwi way of life and this Special Edition version is very cool. Hyundai has been incredibly supportive of us over the past few championship seasons, and now there’s a chance for customers to share in this relationship and maybe even come watch us in action.”
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.
Caring about the environment is something we all feel we ought to do more of. Some of us go out of our way to care alot, whilst some go out of their way to not care at all - stuck somewhere in the middle are most everyone else. We are aware that the planet is under tremendous pressure from all quarters but there is also a level of confusion about the whole conversation.
One thing we can all do is make easy choices about clearly obvious situations. Car tyres are not the kind of thing you ought to be throwing into a rubbish dump and burying under a layer of rubbish to be someone elses problem in potentionally a few hundred years. Car tyres are very slow to decompose and are full of a complicated blend of different materials. Thankfully technology has come to the rescue and has generated an easy solution.
We now have the ability, and easy access, to recycle car tyres in the South Island. This means that with your help we can all work together towards a much better future.
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