Following his historic break-out success at Rally Argentina, New Zealander Hayden Paddon prepares for the next round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Portugal.
Running over May 19-22, the rally covers almost 400 kilometres of stages — starting north around Ponte de Lima, before heading east near Amarante on day two, and finishing on the final day with emphasis on the classic Fafe stage.
Paddon will hope to improve on the 8th-place finish he claimed at the event in 2015, with his Argentinean form bolstered by two explosive appearances in the New Zealand Rally Championship with Hyundai New Zealand’s new AP4 i20 (pictured).
On the car’s debut at the Rally of Otago, Paddon and co-driver John Kennard took a record 9-minute win.
Though they weren’t able to back up that performance at the International Rally of Whangarei — technical gremlins putting paid to their chance of a win — they were still able to rejoin the rally and sweep all of Sunday’s stages.
Paddon currently sits second in the WRC standings, behind three-time series champion Sebastien Ogier. NZ rally champion winner was David Holder with Emma Gilmour in second place, while Dylan Turner rounded out the podium at Whangarei.