Paddon takes NZRC crown
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Paddon takes NZRC crown and helps Mitsubishi lift Manufacturers Trophy
Hayden Paddon has won the 2008 New Zealand Rally Championship with one round remaining. He is the youngest-ever champion and has demonstrated skill and maturity beyond his 21 years to claim the title.
Driving a Lancer Evo IX, Paddon’s second place in the NZRC field at the Rally of New Zealand took him to an unassailable points lead. He also went on to complete the third day of rallying and become the first Kiwi home, finishing 14th overall in an international field including FIA World Rally Championship stars.
The young driver from Geraldine only narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the FIA Production World Rally Championship, with a highly commendable fourth place.
Mitsubishi is well represented in the P-WRC, with Paddon one of the top five drivers in an Evo IX. On the home front, his performances have helped Mitsubishi claim an emphatic victory in the Manufacturer’s Trophy – a result decided even before the Rally of New Zealand thanks to the dominance of Paddon and Chris West.
Former champion West, who drives the Andrew Simms Evo IX, had been hoping to take the NZRC to the wire with a good result on the roads around Hamilton but a series of technical problems saw his title hopes evaporate. He will now compete for second place along with fellow Evo driver Stewart Taylor – it may be a 1,2,3 for Mitsubishi!
MMNZ would like to thank Hayden and Chris for their outstanding efforts in helping Mitsubishi lift the Manufacturers Trophy this year. We wish Chris the very best of luck in the final round of the NZRC and offer our congratulations to Hayden for his brilliant achievement. Long may the success continue!