Series points leader, Hayden Paddon, makes the early running in rain-lashed Hawke's Bay
New Zealand Rally Championship points leader Hayden Paddon has opened an early lead in round four in the Hawke’s Bay.
The Paddon Direct Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 driver won the opening 20.5 kilometre special stage, Hereheretau 1 by 4.9 seconds from Chris West (Andrew Simms Evo 9).
Wet roads and drizzling rain have negated the disadvantage of running first on the road for the South Canterbury driver in the green Lancer.
Double champion Richard Mason is third in the BNT Subaru Impreza WRX STi, 13.3s behind Paddon.
Then come Evo 9 drivers Brett Martin and Dean Sumner,,, with Emma Gilmour completing the top six in her WRX.
In the hotly contested Kiwi 2 front-wheel drive class Dave Strong (Honda Civic Type-R) has the early lead from Reg Cook’s 2.0-litre Nissan Micra and Aaron Cook (no relation) in the Honda Jazz Type-R.
Patrick Malley leads the Ford Fiesta challenge, and Robert Murray leads the classic section in his Mazda RX-7.
The weather is expected to deteriorate later in the day when Hawke’s Bay is hit by the massive storm that has started to lash the North Island.
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