South Canterbury 20-year-old Hayden Paddon has won the coveted Woolf-Whittaker trophy for being first Kiwi to finish in Rally NZ.
Hayden Paddon struck the double in this weekend’s Repco Rally New Zealand.
Yesterday he clinched the 2008 Vantage Aluminium Joinery NZ Rally Championship, and today he finished first New Zealander after Richard Mason’s Subaru Impreza WRX STi blew its engine with four stages to run.
Paddon says the second leg of the double “was a bit unexpected.”
He said the rally had been a mixed bag. He was unhappy about his relative lack of pace but he has ended up with a pair of good results – “first to have the championship and now to be first New Zealander.
“We had no problems all rally. I just struggled for speed.” Paddon had difficulty getting a balance on the hard-compound Pirelli tyres that were mandatory for Rally NZ.
And he found it difficult to adapt his driving style to suit them, and was frustrated not to be able to battle with Mason.
“But looking to the future I know I can drive faster.”
He said the Green Machine’s faultless run was a testament to the Paddon Direct team.
“They built me a good, strong, reliable car, and that made my job a hell of a lot easier.”
Emma Gilmour (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) was second New Zealander to finish, followed by Stewart Taylor (Evo 9).