Brendan Reeves beats his mate Hayden Paddon at Coromandel
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Australian Brendan Reeves grabbed bragging points over Kiwi rival Hayden Paddon at the Goldrush Rally Coromandel on Saturday.
Reeves, who works on Paddon's gravel crew with his Hyundai World Rally Team, took full advantage of a small but costly error from the Kiwi and cruised to victory by one minute and 15 seconds in his Mazda AP4.
Andrew Hawkeswood moved to the top of the New Zealand Rally Championship standings by claiming second while Subaru driver Ben Hunt completed the podium.
Reeves jumped his mate in the opening test before Paddon responded to open up a one minute lead midway through the day. As afternoon rain came down conditions became very difficult and Paddon made a slight error to lose the back end of his Hyundai i20 AP4+ and then watched in horror as the rather harmless spin saw the car slide closer and closer to a drop.
The 30-year-old's shocking run of luck continued as it just reached the drop.
"I just got caught out - the rear of the car snapped sideways on a right hander and I got stuck on the side of the road," Paddon told The Herald. "Because it is 2017 the front tyres just went over the edge, meaning we got stuck.
"If it had been any other year it would have pulled up short and we would have been able to continue.
"At the end of the day we still enjoyed it here. From today we have got some good information from the car. There are a lot of things we need to develop on it to make it easier to drive."
Reeves recorded his second successive win at the event having made a cameo appearance in 2016.
He piloted Hawkeswood's brand new Mazda to a win on debut and secure a one-two finish for the team.
"It means the team has built a brilliant car - to come here both times and win - this time in a brand new Mazda 2 AP4 is pretty cool," Reeves said.
"Mainly it is down to Andrew Hawkeswood inviting us over here to drive his awesome car."
The championship has two events remaining.