Paddon, Thomson victorious in challenging Whangarei battle

WRC rally winner Hayden Paddon has completed yet another faultless drive to secure victory in the in round two of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship in Whangarei.

Paddon won all 16 stages over the weekend in his Hyundai New Zealand i20 Rally2 to take a commanding win of over three and a half minutes from two-time national champion Ben Hunt.

Hunt fended off the challenge of Raana Horan on Sunday to secure a comfortable second place in his Skoda New Zealand Fabia Rally2, while Horan finished third in the Generator Rental Services Skoda Fabia Rally2.

Josh Marston took a solid fourth place finish in his RDL Holden Barina AP4.

Dylan Thomson held off Jackson Clendon in an epic battle in the NZRC 2WD class with both youngsters charging hard in their Ford Fiesta Rally4 cars.

Thomson’s margin edged out to 24 seconds on Sunday afternoon after the pair battled toe-to-toe for most of the event.

Jordan Grant (Suzuki Swift) completed the podium.

Australian-based Irishman Glenn Alcorn took the class win in Open 2WD in his Ford Escort, holding off Daniel Haines (Ford Escort) and Dave Strong (Honda Jazz).

Stewart Reid claimed the famous Motogard Trophy by winning the Historic 2WD class in his Mazda RX7.

Defending class champion John Silcock battled mechanical issues, which hampered his charge.

Earlier the infamous Waipu Caves stage claimed a number of high profile victims with Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen, veteran Todd Bawden and Clint Cunningham all crashing out on the first pass through.

The series moves to South Canterbury in mid-June for round 3.


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The New Zealand Rally Championship is this country’s premier nationwide rally championship. It attracts New Zealand’s best drivers to compete in numerous categories for the prestigious MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned rally championship titles. In 2024, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Invercargill