Paddon wins 10th Otago Rally title

Reigning champion Hayden Paddon has completed a dominant victory and scored maximum points in the opening round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship at Otago.

Paddon, driving his Hyundai New Zealand i20N Rally 2 car, has won every stage to take victory by four minutes and 23 seconds over Paddon Rally Sport teammate Ari Pettigrew, who completed an impressive second place in his Manukau Auto Centre Holden Barina AP4.

It was the 10th career win at Otago for Paddon.

Ben Hunt was third in the Skoda New Zealand Fabia Rally 2 car and closed the gap on Pettigrew to 22 seconds on Sunday despite feeling under the weather.

Raana Horan (Generator Rental Services Skoda Fabia Rally 2) held off the charging Emma Gilmour (Vantage Citroen C3) on Sunday to edge her for fourth place.

Josh Marston (RDL Holden Barina) and Robbie Stokes (Team Hutchison Ford Fiesta AP4) finish sixth and seventh respectively.

Jackson Clendon (Ford Fiesta Rally 4) enjoyed a brilliant return to the championship to be first overall 2WD car and claim a dominant victory in the highly=competitive NZRC 2WD class.

Bryn Jones completed a steady drive for second in his Ford Fiesta while Dylan Thomson recovered from a crash early on the second leg to secure the final podium spot in his older model Ford Fiesta.

John Silcock (Mazda RX7) finished comfortably as the winner of the Historic 2WD class while Australian Stewart Reid finished in second place in his Mazda RX7.

Defending champion Dan Haines (Ford Escort) picked up where he left off last year by winning the Open 2WD class, pulling away from Australian-based Irishman Glenn Alcorn (Ford Escort) on Sunday.


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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