Taking on the World – Kiwi Style

In 2022, Hayden Paddon, alongside co-driver John Kennard, had a standout season, highlighted by their victory in the FIA World Rally2 Championship category at the Repco Rally New Zealand. Driving a Hyundai i20 N Rally2, they secured a significant triumph, setting a solid foundation for their ambition to compete and win the global WRC2 Championship in the coming year.

Key Achievements:
1. WRC2 Victory at Rally New Zealand:
– Paddon and Kennard won the WRC2 category at Rally New Zealand, showcasing their speed and skill on home soil.
– They navigated the challenging conditions of the rally, which featured 275 km over 17 special stages, with precision and strategic acumen.
– The victory was marked by a commanding final margin of two minutes and 33.1 seconds over second-placed Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

2. New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) Title:
– Paddon clinched his sixth NZRC title, reinforcing his dominance in the national rally scene.
– The victory was sealed during the rally’s Friday stages, earning maximum points and securing the championship with one round to spare.
– Paddon’s consistent performance throughout the rally also contributed to Hyundai New Zealand winning the NZRC manufacturer’s championship, and Paddon Rallysport securing the team’s championship title.

Rally New Zealand Highlights:
– Opening Stage: Paddon and Kennard started strong during the Pukekawa Auckland Domain super special stage, despite tricky wet conditions.
– Friday’s Leg: They maintained a solid lead in the WRC2 category and managed to move up the overall standings due to the retirement of WRC1 competitor Craig Breen.
– Saturday’s Leg: Despite worsening weather, Paddon extended his lead and moved into sixth place overall, maintaining a clean and calculated drive.
– Final Leg: The pair continued their momentum, winning three of the four stages, and celebrated their WRC2 category victory amidst enthusiastic support from over 13,000 rally fans.


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